Tags: match preview

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Power to the plebeians!!! Oooooooohhhhhh!!!!

 VS 
Albacete Balompié VS Barcelona B
12.12.2010 16:00 GMT


Barcelona B line-up:
Masip (my bb!!!) - Montoya Bartra Fontas Muniesa - Riverola Romeu S.Roberto - Tello J.Soriano Nolito
Bench Barcelona B: Mino, Armando, Ilie, Dos santos, Victor Vazquez, Edu Oriol, Saul

 VS 

Barcelona VS Real Sociedad
12.12.2010 20:00 GMT


Barcelona line-up: Valdes - Alves Puyol Abidal Maxwell - Xavi Mascherano Iniesta - Pedro Messi Villa

Bench Barcelona: Pinto, Adriano, Pique, Busquets, Keita, Thiago, Bojan


FYI: Pedro is an angel, bishes. Pep said so. (via barcastuff)
PS: Gerard Pique is our favorite troll on Twatter. LOL Oooooooohhhhh!!! (via everyone on Twatter)
 
 
STREAMS FOR BOTH GAMES:
ROJA  |  ATDHE  |  FIRSTROW

Barça Atlétic v Orihuela

While most of us are caught up in the Barça-Sevilla match tonight, we're forgetting that tomorrow is the final round of Segunda B!

Atlétic face seventh-place (and Copa del Rey contenders) Orihuela at Los Arcos at 18.00. Atlétic have already secured a place in the play-off round for promotion, but are in second place five points behind Sant Andreu. They will close out the regular season as the runners-up whether or not they win on Sunday. Not bad considering the squad's shaky start and injury plague.

Defenders Marc Muniesa and Andreu Fontàs are out injured for four weeks and three months respectively, and midfielder Jonathan dos Santos isn't expected to return for another week. Muniesa has already been out for four with a hamstring tear, Fontàs was injured in training and had surgery this week, and dos Santos has a minor hamstring strain he suffered two weeks ago. Marc Bartra, Oriol Romeu, and Armando Lozano were injured for last week's win against València Mestalla, and only Armando may be cleared to play.

Jonathan Soriano remains the squad's top scorer with 18 goals, and is expected to start. Luis Enrique faces a challenge in choosing the rest of the starting eleven, especially his back line and keeper. Oier and Masip have both been playing well on somewhat of a rotation, with Masip playing against Mestalla.

Bona sort i Visca Barça!
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El Clasico: coming right up!

Quote of the day:

"We will not beat Madrid 6-0, or 5-0, I can assure you of that. We've already won the media game 6-0. Brilliant. But the real game starts on Saturday at 10." - Pep Guardiola

Video of the day:

Barcelona's last win at Camp Nou in 2004, the game which many saw as a turning point for both Barca and Real - Barca on their way to dominance and Real, to decline. So it proved.



+ Surprise! Andres Iniesta is back in full training and may even be fit enough to be on the bench. It's a very slim chance, but I wouldn't rule it out completely.

On Real's side, Sneijder has been included in their squad, but may not be fit enough to feature. So the final list of probably absences for Real looks like this:

Injured: Van Nistelrooy, Diarra, De la Red, Heinze, Sneijder, Miguel Torres, Pepe
Suspended: Robben, Marcelo

+ There are outlandish rumours that Juande Ramos will play 5 defenders. Which isn't a very Real Madrid thing to do, is it?

+ Marca appears to suggest that Sergio Ramos will be the one with the fun, fun task of marking Leo Messi. (You'll notice that they're assuming that Messi will play on the right, which with Pep isn't exactly a certainty.)

+ Former players Mark van Bommel, Juliano Belletti, and Gio van Bronckhorst on El Clasico.


Soapbox time: form means nothing in this game. It's not going to be easy, no matter what it seems like. Personally, I agree with Xavi and co.: getting the 3 points is the most importance consideration here.

Please join us here for the live freak-out reaction post, Saturday 10PM local time. I'll be freaking out at work by myself, desperate to know the result. Pity me. *g*

Visca el Barca!
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El Clasico countdown: 2 days!

Quote of the day:

"The noise was deafening. My ears were ringing at the end. It was louder even than when I went to Celtic Park with Liverpool." - Michael Owen, after his first Clasico at Camp Nou.


Video of the day:

The last really satisfying victory for Barca against Real, back in 2005 with Ronaldinho in full flight, Samuel Eto'o at his best and Leo Messi beginning to show his promise:




+ Absentees update: it now appears that Sneijder, who had hoped to be fit for the game, will not be. On the Barca side, Aleks is back in training after overcoming his fever.

+ Rafa speaks about the importance of getting the 3 points above anything else.

+ The latest on tactical preparations: Real didn't let Guardiola's assistants film their game against Zenit (because of TV rights rather than any sinister reason) so they're going to go on the TV broadcast, as well as footage of Ramos' games against Barca while he was Sevilla manager and a couple while he was at Spurs. While Ramos' appointment has undoubtedly disturbed preparations, Pep and co are dealing with it as well as they can, and in the end, the most important thing will be to get their own players in the right shape.
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El Clasico countdown: 3 days!

Quote of the day:

Q: Are you especially motivated to play against Real Madrid at Camp Nou?
Leo Messi: Well, it's a special match because it's Real Madrid. But, basically, it's just the usual: two teams, eleven players...

Video of the day:

Leo said that in an interview days before this game, the most exciting of the recent Clasicos:



+ The latest speculation as regards Real's make-shift backline is that it will be Metzelder-Ramos-Cannavaro-Salgado. That's right, Salgado to mark Messi (if Pep sees fit to put Leo on the right again).

+ On the Barca side, everybody's doing fine, except Aleks Hleb who has a fever and had to miss training.

+ The official website makes my life easier with a series of preview articles: one focusing on the influence of Dutch players on first Barca and now Real and on Juande Ramos' year in charge of Barca B.

+ Xavi spoke to the press and was properly very cautious about Barca's prospects.


And finally, just an early reminder: _fcbarcelona_ will be hosting a live reaction post on Saturday. The game's at 10PM local time. Please come and join us - it's better than freaking out by yourself! *g*
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El Clasico countdown: 4 days!

Quote of the day:

"In the Camp Nou, I felt something extra when I scored that second goal. If there had been a roof in the stadium it would have blown off. The sound was unbelievable. I remember the challenge, the massiveness of the game, the incredible atmosphere, the explosion of noise..." - Gary Lineker on the night he scored a hat-trick in El Clasico

Video of the day:

Our current manager took part in Barca's last major blowout against Real, the 5-0 victory of the Dream Team back in 1994, featuring a hat-trick from Romario.



News:

+ Real have a new coach! It's our old friend Juande Ramos, who once coached Barca B and knows players such as Puyol and Xavi from that period. As Pep acknowledged in his post-match press conference for the CL game, this will oblige him to change his preparations a little to deal with Ramos' tactical approach.

+ Injury and suspensions news: on the Real front, Van Nistelrooy and Diarra are definitely out through long-term injury; Miguel Torres and Pepe are also injured in the short-term; Marcelo and Robben are suspended; Heinze, Metzelder, Drenthe, Sneijder are doubts, and Ruben de la Red's playing future is still uncertain after his collapse some weeks ago.

On the Barca front, Iniesta is in the last stage of his recovery, and Gabi Milito is getting there slowly, but other than that there are no absences to report as of today. Let's hope it stays that way.
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quick news post ahead of Barca v Valencia

+ Abidal is fit again! Match squad for the Valencia game hasn't been released yet [because Pep likes to keep all of us, including the press and the players, on our toes]. The certain absentees so far: Victor Sanchez, who's been drafted in to help the B team again, Sammy Eto'o who is suspended, and injury victims Andres and Gabi Milito.

+ Speaking of fitness, the first day of training after the Sevilla game saw the players undergo some fitness tests, same as when they first turned up for pre-season. The coaching team wanted to see how everyone was going - apparently things look fine, which is always nice to hear.

+ Feel free to disregard the rumours regarding Yaya Toure, because he's not going anywhere. Yay!

+ The club launched a major initiative this week in conjunction with Nike and UNCHR (the United Nations refugee agency) - the MES campaign, which will see a range of sports goods being put on sale with the proceeds to going towards improving the conditions of refugees. The project was unveiled on Thursday in a big press conference with players and coaches from most of Barca's major sports teams in attendance.


Bit more on the Valencia game: they haven't lost away yet this season, so it's going to be a tough game, especially since David Villa is so very good at scoring against Barca. The good news is that Valencia won't be at full strength - Silva, Edu, Moretti and Alexis are injured, Vicente's a doubt, and Marchena is suspended. The bad news is that they have a coach who knows how to make the most of what he's got.

The tactical battle between Pep and Unai Emery, the two youngest coaches in La Liga, should be a fascinating one.

Kick-off is at 10PM local time. Visca el Barca!
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a little news and Sevilla preview

My apologies for my lack of contributions over the past month - I've been rather swamped by work.

+ Firstly, Barca beat Sporting Lisbon in their own stadium 5-2, so they're now sure to top the CL group with one game to spare, which is excellent news considering when the last group stage game is - sandwiched between the games against Valencia and Real.

+ Speaking of which, Barca's next four games: Sevilla (away), Valencia (home), Real (home) and Villarreal (away). The Christmas break is at the end of this terrifying run, which is good because by then the squad will probably need it.

+ Injury news: For those of you who were wondering, Abidal is still alive. I know I was starting to worry because of the lack of news about his progress. Apparently, he's due back soon, which is very good news at this time - Sylvinho, Puyol and Caceres have done a great job filling in so far, but it's always nice to have the first-choice player for the position.

Iniesta and Milito are both on track in their recovery. Iniesta has started running again and is (according to Pep) desperate to get back ASAP. Apparently Pep had to talk him out of rushing things. Milito on the other hand is finally running again after his long absence - it will still be a while before he's back, though.

+ Congratulations to Titi, who made his 100th appearance in the CL against Sporting (and scored Barca's opener too).

+ Okay, let's talk Sevilla. The squad:

Goalkeepers: Valdes, Pinto
Defenders: Marquez, Pique, Puyol, Caceres, Sylvinho
Midfielders: Xavi, Keita, Gudjohnsen, Toure, Busquets
Forwards: Henry, Bojan, Eto'o, Messi
We're still not sure where they play: Hleb, Alves

+ Past results at the Sanchez Pizjuan:

04-05 Sevilla 0 - 4 Barca
05-06 Sevilla 3 - 2 Barca
06-07 Sevilla 2 - 1 Barca
07-08 Sevilla 1 - 1 Barca

+ Links: Awesome Sevilla keeper Andres Palop says nice things about Barca, Pep wants the team to be ambitious and go for it, and the best defence in La Liga against the best attack (also statistically the best two defences, incidentally).

+ Both Dani and Keita are returning to their former club, so there's been a lot of talk in the press about that. Hopefully they'll be reasonably well received, especially Dani, who has a strong emotional connection to Sevilla.


This is a big, big game. Barca don't get results at the Sanchez Pizjuan often, but it's very hard to call this game because the two teams are both playing at a high level.

Game time: Saturday 10PM local time.

Visca el Barca!