Solbakken: Copenhagen must push Messi wide

COPENHAGEN - FC Copenhagen will attempt to thwart Barcelona's Lionel Messi in Tuesday's Champions League Group D clash by trying to prevent him operating between their midfield and defence, according to coach Stale Solbakken.

The Argentina forward scored both goals in Barca's 2-0 win over the Danish champions at the Nou Camp last month to take his tally in the competition to four in three matches, two behind leading marksman Samuel Eto'o of Inter Milan.

The World Player of the Year, top scorer in last season's edition of Europe's elite club competition, also netted two in the Spanish champions' 5-0 rout of Sevilla in La Liga at the weekend.

"Cleverer coaches than me and better players than mine have tried and been unsuccessful at stopping Messi but with a great team effort we have a chance," Solbakken told a news conference on Monday.

"Messi was a key player (in the match in Barcelona) and it will be extremely important to stop him from roaming in the area between our midfield and defence.

"If we can push him out towards the sidelines we will have a better chance of preventing him creating chances."

A win in the Danish capital for Barca, the 2009 winners and Group D leaders, would give them 10 points from four matches and put them through to the last 16.

Copenhagen are second in the group on six, with Russian side Rubin Kazan on two and Panathinaikos of Greece on one.