The Blaugrana boss has warned his side about the tough Russian challenge ahead of them at the Luzhniki on Tuesday and has given credit to Unai Emery
The Catalans beat the Russian side 3-2 in the first meeting of the two sides at Camp Nou, and the 44-year-old is wary of the threat they pose, particularly with former Valencia boss Unai Emery in charge.
“Russian teams have made it difficult for us in the past," he told reporters at a press conference. “These days you can’t beat anyone easily in the Champions League.
“There are no easy games. We have a lot of respect for Spartak and I believe that it will be a hard game just like the one at the Camp Nou.
"We know Unai Emery well and he has always caused us difficulties. He is a coach who always has a very organised defence and attack."
He added: "We will have to play well. I, of course, expect maximum commitment from all the players. Maybe if we had beaten Celtic we would have left some players at home, but this is a very important match. We need to play well and win to finish top of the group."
However, Vilanova then stated that a loss in the Russia capital would not be the end of the world due to their remaining group fixture against Benfica at Camp Nou.
"Against Spartak we will try to win so that we can qualify, but if we don’t, we still have a game at Camp Nou."
Tuesday's clash between Barca and Spartak kicks off at 18:00 CET.