Barcelona retain hope ahead of Bayern clash

Gerard Pique thinks Barcelona are the only team in Europe who can turn this game around. Photo: PA

Barcelona will start their Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp still believing themselves capable of what would be an incredible comeback.

The Catalans giants trail 4-0 following last week's humbling at the Allianz Arena, their hopes of making the final at Wembley on May 25 hanging by the thinnest of threads.

A team containing Lionel Messi can not be written off, though, and coach Tito Vilanova insists no one at the club has given up hope.

He said: "We believe we can fight back, it's our obligation and we're convinced (it's possible).

"We know that it will be very difficult, but we are Barca and we can never give up on a tie, especially when we have 90 minutes to play at home.

"We have to hold our heads high if we are eliminated. We cannot give up, we need to make our fans proud."

Defender Gerard Pique added: "The only team that can overcome a 4-0 deficit to Bayern Munich is this club."

Messi was thoroughly overshadowed in the first leg when he appeared troubled by a hamstring problem, but Vilanova backed him to "have things to say" tonight.

He came off the bench and scored against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.

Vilanova said: "The more in form he is the better our chances of getting to the final, but we can't heap this kind pressure on him, we have to try to help him.

"A player as good as Messi, at this point in the competition, will have things to say in tomorrow's match."

Bayern have won their last 10 games in all competitions and are now firm favourites to win the competition.

They reached the final last term only to suffer a heart-breaking penalty shootout defeat to Chelsea in their own stadium and boss Jupp Heynckes thinks that disappointment has fuelled their desire this campaign.

"When you experience a final like we did against Chelsea, then you understand all the consequences," Heynckes said.

"Some clubs give up, but everyone at Bayern reacted in a very positive way. We made changes, signed good players, modified some things, and strengthened the team spirit."

And Heynckes wants to prove that last week's result was not a one-off.

"We have our philosophy on football and this season we have proved that Bayern are a great team playing top quality football. We have our culture and we are capable of scoring goals at the Nou Camp.

"We can't think too much about the first-leg result. After the match we can evaluate things, but I cannot say which team is the better one. Barcelona have played at such a high level for so many years. Bayern want to prove that the match in Munich wasn't a one-off."