The Catalans have lost two of their past three matches in La Liga, and the hosts’ striker believes Luis Enrique’s men to be at their most vulnerable now
Rayo Vallecano striker Javi Guerra is taking inspiration from Celta Vigo’s heroics against Barcelona for Saturday’s trip to Camp Nou.
Barca then proceeded to lose 2-1 at Sevilla before the international break, prompting Guerra’s to be optimisitic that his team could be next in line to cause an upset.
“In football anything can happen, nobody is invincible,” the forward, who has three goals from five appearances since joining Rayo in August, told reporters.
“Celta has a great team, they play very good football and had an impressive day against a Barcelona that was not on form and did damage.
“When we have the ball we must play forwards and if we there is pressure we can catch them on the break. It is clear that Barcelona play with a lot of risk and will leave many spaces behind.
“Let’s go without fear and try to take advantage of those spaces to play fast, go forward and have chances.”
Barcelona will again be without talisman Lionel Messi and midfield maestro Andres Iniesta due to their respective knee and hamstring injuries, although Guerra stated he would have preferred to face them.
“I’d rather [they were fit],” he added. “It’s nice to face the best and if you get a good result it is better.
“Barcelona are the best team in the world. They have many good things and many virtues.
“They have lost a goal without Messi without Iniesta the final pass, but they are quality players who can still change a game at any time.
“We will have to make a match compact, be close together, defend well and keep the ball. It is a match where there in no need to motivate anyone.”
History is against Guerra and his team-mates, however, with Barcelona winning the previous nine meetings between the sides, racking up 40 goals and conceding a mere two in the process.
Messi dazzled with a second-half hat-trick and Luis Suarez netted a brace as Luis Enrique’s men won last season’s corresponding fixture 6-1 in March.
Such landslide wins have not been a feature of the Catalan’s season to date though, but Suarez appreciates the magnitude of the challenge facing them as just three points separate La Liga’s top five after seven matches.
“We all know how tough our rivals are,” Suarez told La Liga’s official website. “Both Real Madrid and Atletico, as well as Valencia or Sevilla, among others, have already shown that.
“We have to keep believing in ourselves, understanding that teams make mistakes.”
Barcelona will be wary of any further slip-ups, given they could slip further behind present leaders Villarreal should they fail to take maximum points this weekend.