With Olympique Lyonnais having beaten Paris St Germain in Ligue 1 and Manchester City in the group phase of the Champions League, Barcelona is well aware of the trap they could be stepping into when they face the French club. Lyon handed PSG their only league defeat a couple of weeks ago and claimed a 2-1 win at Manchester City in the group phase, showing they have a capacity to raise their level when it matters.
Barca, who laboured to a 1-0 win against Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday, will not take anything for granted in the last-16 first leg on Tuesday. "I have a lot of respect for Lyon, they beat PSG recently," midfielder Sergio Busquets told reporters.
"It is going to be a big challenge for us," Valverde said. "But we're hungry and ready for this game." As always in the knockout stage, scoring an away goal can be paramount, and there are concerns that Barca has been less of an attacking side lately.
"It is true that scoring an away goal is important because if you don't, it leaves everything up in the air for the second leg," said Valverde. "Everybody has their opinion but the question is surprising. Maybe we have not created that much chance but we always attack.
"Tomorrow we will see."
(With inputs from agencies.)