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Unread 18-03-2010, 11:40 PM
fred tissue
Default Barcelona keen to avoid Manchester United in quarter-finals

• I would prefer to avoid Manchester United, says Barça director
• United could be motivated by revenge, says Txiki Begiristain

Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain has singled out Manchester United as the team to avoid in tomorrow's draw for the Champions League quarter-finals.

The European Champions have faced Sir Alex Ferguson's men three times in the past two years, with United knocking them out at the semi-final stage two seasons ago before Barça triumphed in the final last year.

Begiristain admits he would be wary of United's desire for revenge should the two be pitted against each other again.

"We are strong and, if we want to be champions, we have to beat everyone," he told Barça TV. "At this moment all the rivals are very strong but I would prefer to avoid Manchester United.

"I would not like to meet the club who were our opponents in the final last season because of the motivation they could have.

"I'm not scared about facing teams like Arsenal or Manchester United, because they would be great spectacles.

"The French have teams that play well too and we have the experience of facing Lyon last year."

Barcelona cruised through to the quarter-finals with a convincing 5-1 aggregate victory over Stuttgart thanks to last night's 4-0 second-leg triumph at the Nou Camp.

Begiristain hopes they have the fortune to be drawn to play the second leg at home. "The ideal would be to face the second leg of the tie in our stadium," he added. "Last year we had bad luck and we played the return legs in Munich and London [against Chelsea]."

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