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PIQUE BACKS BARCA TO GO THROUGH

By NBF NEWS
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Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho and his Inter Milan players managed to stifle Champions League holders Barcelona last week at the San Siro but repeating the feat at the Nou Camp on Wednesday is a different proposition altogether.

Inter has one foot in May's final after the 3-1 home win in their semifinal first leg. But with competition top scorer Lionel Messi, former Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and peerless midfield orchestrator Xavi in the side and close to a 100,000 fans roaring them on Barca are more than capable of reversing the deficit.

'We have to be ambitious and go for as many goals as possible,' Barca defender Gerard Pique said at a news conference on Monday. 'Even if we score twice they could snatch one goal and we'll be out.'

Barca's hopes of progressing have been boosted by the news that influential Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder, arguably their player of the season, is doubtful with a thigh problem suffered in Saturday's 3-1 Serie A win over Atalanta.

Pep Guardiola's Barca side knocked four goals past both VfB Stuttgart and Arsenal in their last two European home matches, Messi scoring twice against the Germans and all four against Arsenal, and a repeat of their 2-0 success against Inter in the group phase in November would see them through.

History also appears to be on their side.
The last two times Barca lost 3-1 in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie away from home, against Dynamo Kiev in 1993/94 and Chelsea in 1999/2000, they turned things around with 4-1 and 5-1 second-leg wins respectively.

Pique said the support of the Barca faithful would be a key factor on Wednesday night.

'I hope to see the Nou Camp as I've never seen it before and we want the Inter players to hate their jobs for 90 minutes,' the former Manchester United man said.