MADRID - Barcelona striker David Villa
has the ideal stage to end an unusual goal drought when the 2009
winners host Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League
quarter-final, first leg on Wednesday.
Villa became Spain's leading scorer when he netted his 45th
and 46th goals for the world and European champions against
Czech Republic last month, but last found the net for his club
against Real Mallorca on February 26, a barren run of six games.
"You always get a bit worried when you aren't scoring but
you have to stay calm," Villa told a news conference on Monday.
"I know it's been a while since I scored, but the only way
to put that behind me is to work hard in training and on the
pitch," the 29-year-old added.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola is likely to have fit-again
forward Pedro and full-back Maxwell available for the clash at
the Nou Camp as the Spanish champions eye a possible semi-final
against great rivals Real Madrid.
The pair trained at the same pace as their team mates on
Monday, Barca said on their website.
However, captain and central defender Carles Puyol, who has a
knee injury, is yet to rejoin the group.
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, joint top scorer in
this year's edition of Europe's elite club competition with
eight goals, did not train as a precaution after an injury scare
on duty with Argentina.
Barca are on a high after stretching their lead over Real at
the top of La Liga to eight points at the weekend with eight
Barca need to be careful of complacency after Saturday's 1-0
win at Villarreal and focus fully on the Shakhtar match, Villa
"When you come into a game after losing or drawing everyone
knows you have to put it behind you and concentrate on the next
match, but the same thing holds true if you've just won.
"Now we have to try and play well, win and get a good result
for the second leg."
Shakhtar, who recorded a shock 3-2 win at the Nou Camp in
December 2008 before Barca went on to win the final, have
Centre-back Dmytro Chygrynskiy, who had an unsuccessful
spell at Barca last season, is struggling to recover from a
minor injury picked up two weeks ago but could make the starting
His defensive partner Olexandr Kucher is definitely out and
has travelled to Barcelona only for a consultation on his
However, influential Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho is
back in action after seven months out with a knee problem and
played the whole of Shakhtar's 3-1 win away to FC Ilichivets
Mariupol on Friday.
"Now I am ready to play all 90 minutes. In fact, the whole
team are ready," Fernandinho said.
"It is the most important game for us because we have
reached the quarter-finals for the first time," he added. "It
would be perfect to score in Barcelona."
Shakhtar are in the last eight for the first time.
Barcelona: 1-Victor Valdes; 2-Daniel Alves, 3-Gerard Pique,
16-Sergio Busquets, 21-Adriano Correia; 6-Xavi, 14-Javier
Mascherano, 8-Andres Iniesta; 17-Pedro, 10-Lionel Messi, 7-David
Shakhtar Donetsk: 30-Andriy Pyatov; 33-Darijo Srna,
27-Dmytro Chygrynskiy, 44-Yaroslav Rakitskiy, 26-Razvan Rat;
3-Tomas Hubschman; 20-Douglas Costa, 8-Jadson, 10-Willian;
22-Henrik Mkhitaryan, 9-Luiz Adriano.
Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)
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