Barcelona boss Quique Setien says “at no point” has he considered that the Champions League second leg with Napoli could be his final match in charge.

Setien, 61, was appointed in January but his future is in doubt after Real Madrid won La Liga.

“We have prepared thinking me and my coaching staff are going to continue,” Setien said with the tie poised at 1-1.

“At no point has the thought that tomorrow could be my last game passed through my head.”

Barca have not been eliminated at the last 16 stage since 2007 and their desire for a first Champions League title since 2015 led to them sacking Ernesto Valverde earlier this year.

Setien has France forward Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Frenkie de Jong back fit but are still without midfielders Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal.

Captain Lionel Messi is a booking away from a suspension.

“Having all the options would have been better,” Setien said.

“This is not the case and we will have to have many players from the reserve team. The circumstances are what they are. We would all like to be able to count on the players in the squad.”

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso is hoping to guide the club into the last eight for the first time.

“We certainly want to write an important page in our history,” said Gattuso.

“We know if we want to compete against Barcelona we will have to take risks.

“I can mark Messi only in my dreams, or on my son’s PlayStation.”

35 without loss – the stats

  • Barcelona are set to host Napoli for the first time in a competitive match. The last team to win their first away Champions League game at Camp Nou was Rubin Kazan in October 2009 (2-1).
  • Barcelona have progressed from each of their last 19 Champions League knockout ties after avoiding defeat in the first leg away from home, only failing to progress once, going out to Juventus in the 2002-03 quarter final (1-1 first leg, 1-2 second leg).
  • Napoli have won just one of their last 10 away Champions League games (D4 L5), winning 3-2 at Red Bull Salzburg in October 2019. However, they are unbeaten in all three away games this season (W1 D2).
  • Barcelona’s run of 35 home Champions League games without defeat (W31 D4) is the second-longest in the history of the European Cup/Champions League, behind Bayern Munich’s 43-game run between 1969 and 1991.
  • Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last five home Champions League knockout matches at Camp Nou (8 goals, 3 assists), scoring a brace in four of those five games.
  • This is Quique Setién’s first home Champions League match as Barcelona manager – 10 of their previous 11 managers have won their first such match at Camp Nou, with only Louis van Gaal failing to do so in a 2-2 draw against PSV in October 1997.
  • Barcelona have qualified for the Champions League quarter-final in each of the last 12 campaigns, last failing in 2006-07 under Frank Rijkaard; no other team has qualified for the last-eight of the competition in more than eight consecutive seasons.

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Source: JoyOnline

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