Sporting CP manager Jorge Jesus reckons that his team will have an easier time playing against Barcelona on Wednesday due to the fact that Neymar is no longer in the side.
The Catalan side were relieved of their Brazilian star by Paris Saint-Germain during the summer, with the attacker completing a world-record £198m move. And despite replacing him with French star Ousmane Dembele, Jesus doesn't seem to think that they have filled the void.
Speaking to Marca ahead of the Champions League tie, the Sporting boss said: "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. 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. Surely we will enjoy a good performance against them."
With Dembele out for several months, having undergone surgery earlier this month, it doesn't really matter how good he is. But one thing is for sure, Ernesto Valverde will be going into every match this season with a weaker team than the La Liga giants had in the last.
However, this hardly suggests that he will be disadvantaged, as Barca can make up for the loss of their superstar with greater effort, focus and purpose.