Jorge Jesus ‘convinced’ Sporting Lisbon can take points off Barcelona

26 September 2017 07:12

Sporting Lisbon coach Jorge Jesus accepts it is almost impossible to beat Barcelona, but remains confident his side can take a positive result from their Champions League clash.

Barcelona have won all six of their LaLiga games in the new campaign and opened their European fixtures with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Juventus, who were runners-up to Real Madrid in last season’s final.

However, Jesus believes his side – who came through the Champions League qualifiers and boast an unbeaten domestic record from seven matches so far – can tackle the daunting challenge ahead of them with a positive mindset at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi will be a threat for Barcelona (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“Barcelona are doing well, Lionel Messi is strong and when those two things align they are almost impossible to beat,” Jesus said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca.

“We have a lot of responsibility and now Sporting must continue to win points. We are convinced that we can take something off Barcelona.”

While Jesus will never underestimate the attacking threat of Ernesto Valverde’s men, the Sporting coach believes the departure of Neymar in a world-record transfer to Paris St Germain has taken something out of a formidable frontline.

“Look, Neymar is one of the greats. I am one of the few who believe that he’s one of the best in the world,” Jesus said.

“(Ousmane) Dembele is not the same. He is a good player, but he is not a creator. You never allow a guy like Neymar to leave and Barcelona are less strong without him.

“Luis Suarez, Messi and Neymar are players who don’t give their opponents any chances. Without the Brazilian, we have one less problem, but there is also Andres Iniesta and the others.”

Source: By PA Sport Staff