Barcelona boss, Gerardo Martino, believes his side needs Lionel Messi at his best tonight in order for the Blaugrana to progress against Atletico Madrid.
Atletico have a slight advantage, hosting Barcelona at Vicente Calderon after they drew 1-1 at Camp Nou last week.
But Martino insists, Barcelona have the quality to beat the La Liga log leaders after both sides have already drawn four times this season.
“Leo has got us used to him scoring in every game so when he doesn’t it’s very obvious. For us it’s good if Messi can have an impact, whether he scores or not,” the Argentine said in his pre-match press conference.
“He’s been a decisive player over these four months this year, playing week in, week out which he hadn’t before. If we get the chance to see the best of Leo our chances of going through go up.”
The Barcelona coach wants his side to score first and put Atletico on back foot for the first time in games between the two Spanish rivals this season.
“We need to play better than Atlético and win the match. As a first principle I aim to play better than our rivals and that’s what I’m hoping for,” he added.
“I think both teams know each other really well. I think they are two teams at a very good level with distinct styles.
“The one thing that hasn’t happened is for Barcelona to have taken the lead. We’ll try to score first in order to run the game differently.”
Messi has scored 10 goals in his previous 11 Champions League quarter-finals. Can he make the difference against Atletico tonight? Have your say in the comment section below.