Barcelona, Spain, Oct 19 (EFE).- FC Barcelona’s survival in this year’s Uefa Champions League could be decided when the team travels to take on Dynamo Kyiv following back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica, head coach Ronald Koeman said Tuesday.
“Tomorrow we play for our future in the Champions League,” the Dutch manager told a press conference at Barça’s training ground. “If we want to progress to the next stage, then there is no other option to gain points.”
“It’s very clear what we must do.”
He added a dose of reality to his remarks though when asked whether the team could be competitive in this year’s competition.
“Compete, yes. But we cannot be expected to win,” he said.
Koeman will be without some of his stalwarts against Kiev, including Pedri and Ousmane Dembélé.
“There are very experienced players who need to set an example in these games,” Koeman said. “In addition, the youngsters have proved that they can withstand the pressure of playing for Barça. They have played in important matches, with us and with their national teams.
“It’s not a question of lacking experience,” he added.
One of those who will have to step in to lead the pack is Philippe Coutinho, who on Sunday scored against Valencia in his return from injury.
Koeman said the Dynamo Kyiv his side will face on Wednesday evening are “better than they were last year.”
The head coach, whose future at Barcelona is the subject of speculation, said youngster Ansu Fati, who recently came back from injury, could end up playing three games in seven days, ending with the Clasico against Real Madrid this weekend. EFE