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Sonia Cervantes told Goal.com's Por Quillo Barrios about the pressure that Vilanova faces as he prepares to take charge of his first Liga Clasico

EXCLUSIVE
By: Por Quillo Barrios

Ahead of the 222nd Clasico at Camp Nou on Sunday evening, a renowned psychologist has warned Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova not to try and copy the actions of his predecessor Pep Guardiola.

Vilanova replaced the 41-year-old at the end of last season, and according to Sonia Cervantes is under pressure to replicate Guardiola's success, but added that should not come at the expense of his own style.

She said: "Going from second in command to head coach causes a lot of stress. It is key to forget the stress and focus on the job in hand.

"[Tito] Vilanova would be wrong to copy Guardiola. The right approach would be to try to win the maximum possible titles with a unique style. Guardiola won playing his style of football, whilst Vilanova must be Vilanova, and play with his own style."

Whilst the Blaugrana boast a wealth of talent, Cervantes spoke about Lionel Messi in depth, praising Guardiola's treatment of the Argentine, and suggesting Vilanova would be wise to continue that strong relationship with his star man.

"Messi was a player with great potential [when Guardiola arrived], and Pep worked hard to isolate the media noise surrounding him," she added.

"Guardiola knew the huge project that Messi was, and in treating him right was able to get the best out of him. Tito must do the same, pamper him [Messi] to get the best out of him.

Cervantes tipped Vilanova to lead Barcelona to a 2-1 victory over their rivals, but stressed the importance of mental preparation before the match.

"Motivation is one of the most important things in sport, especially for a game like El Clasico where the psychological pressure is high," she concluded.

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