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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 6, 2007

Barca's Toure expecting tough Rangers test

Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure is anticipating a 'physical and tiring' encounter against Rangers tomorrow night.

The two sides are locked at the top of Champions League E on seven points and, if either can secure a win at the Nou Camp, they would be almost assured of a place in the knockout stage.

And Toure, the brother of Arsenal defender Kolo, is determined it will be the Catalan giants and not Walter Smith's men who move a step closer to progressing.

'We have to play our game and get the three points because we want to qualify for the next round and keep our place at the top of the group,' said the Ivory Coast international, who joined Barca from Monaco over the summer.

'But it will be a physical and tiring encounter.'

Toure played in Barca's 3-0 win against Real Betis on Sunday night - a match which saw Ronaldinho return to form with two goals from free-kicks.

'We played well,' added 24-year-old Toure.

'We want to show that we're up there and to make a good impression.

'Also, we had an added motivation to win - we had to take advantage of Real Madrid's defeat (at Sevilla on Saturday) in order to cut the gap at the top of the table.'

Barca's domestic title challenge - they currently lie a point behind arch rivals Madrid - has been hampered by their away form this season with Frank Rijkaard's side having claimed just one win from their five road games.

They were also off-colour at Ibrox a fortnight ago, in the goalless draw with Rangers.

'It's true that when we play away from home, we're weak,' said Toure.

'We have trouble playing our game. I believe it could be due to the fact that the opponents play very well at home and are very motivated to beat us.

'You also have to bear in mind that we have the crowd against us. Although it's difficult to play away, if we want to win the league we have to win our away matches and I believe we'll do so.'

Barca have just one doubt for the Rangers game, with Italy defender Gianluca Zambrotta nursing an ankle injury he sustained in the victory over Betis.

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