Barcelona train for 'important' Viktoria Plzen clash without Lewandowski - in pictures

Polish striker absent from Champions League dead rubber as manager Xavi urges team to finish on a high

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Xavi insisted Barcelona's final Champions League group game is "important" and urged his players to take Viktoria Plzen seriously as the already-eliminated squad trained for Tuesday night's match in the Czech Republic.

Barcelona will finish third in Group C behind winners Bayern Munich and runners-up Inter Milan, ensuring a second successive group stage exit for the Catalans. Barca's only win of the group stage came in their opening game against Viktoria Plzen, beating the Czech side 5-1.

While there is nothing to play for, Barca manager Xavi wants his team to salvage some pride and finish their campaign on a high before they drop into the Europa League.

"Of course, there is no chance for the qualification but it's important," Xavi said. "It's important for our feeling, for our game model, to show ourselves we are in a good way. We want to finish this competition well, so it's an important game. This is not a friendly game, it's the Champions League, so it's important."

To prepare for the match, Barcelona players and staff conducted a final training session inside Viktoria Plzen's Doosan Arena on Monday evening. Among the players to take part in training were recent Golden Boy winner Gavi, Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong, and veteran defender Gerard Pique.

However, a notable absentee was star striker Robert Lewandowski, whom Barca confirmed would skip the trip to the Czech Republic as a precaution against "an issue with his back”.

Check out the best photos from the training session in the photo gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 6:31 AM
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