“It will be very difficult to defeat Barcelona”

Ivan Rakitic believes it will be ‘very difficult to beat Barcelona’ as they continue to adjust to the ‘new ideas’ of Coach Ernesto Valverde.

The Croatian midfielder found the net in Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League victory over Juventus and he believes similar levels of performance will ensure his side have a successful campaign.

“It’s always important to start off on a winning note, but Barca aren’t a team that usually change Coach,” Rakitic told Spanish television of new boss Ernesto Valverde.

“There’s a new idea for us to follow, but we’re very happy about how these last few weeks have gone, and a win like this one gives us a lot of confidence.

“In order to have a second half like we did, you must first play the first half. We battled them, being the dominant team, and then came our first goal, almost on the referee’s whistle for half-time.

“It’s a bit different playing with a fixed winger, compared to having Leo play like he did.

“Although we won everything in our first season under Luis Enrique with Leo out there, the most important thing is to play as a team.

“If we play like we did tonight, it’ll be very difficult to defeat Barca.”