Barcelona - Real Madrid 16.04 La Liga

sass101

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Dec 29, 2009
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www.fm-base.co.uk
[video=youtube;mZYYaVn6Lmg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZYYaVn6Lmg&feature=youtube_gdata[/video]




With La Liga’s end mere seven matches away, will Guardiola and the players get it right again or will Mourinho and his players get something out of this game? Find out more after the jump.

This season is the first time since 1916, when we were treated to four el Clasico in such a short span of time – three weeks. At that time, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid met at the Spanish competition that pitted the winner of Central Championship against the winner of Catalan Championship. Real Madrid came out winners at last with a 4-2 victory after the two other matches ended in a tie because Barcelona players staged a humiliating walkout after being very aggravated with how the referee led the game.
However, football is already a very different spectacle. Referee favoritism is like a myth that can be seen but never proven. And as long as a team didn’t make any mistake, there is no way the referee could’ve helped the opposition. Keeping this in mind, how will Barcelona fare against Madrid in the big picture? Of course, the El Clasico results in the last couple of years might favour FC Barcelona and especially Pep, but there are a lot of valid reasons why today’s game will prove that defeating Real Madrid in all four matches is going to be an incredible, almost impossible feat.
Mourinho is a man who knows how to win competitions. He might lose matches, but it is very rare that he’ll lose the important ones. Last season’s Champions League is a very good testament for this. Facing Barcelona four times along the way (twice in group stage, and twice in semi-finals stage), Inter won only once, lost twice, and drew once. It is this cruel and hard fact that makes Mourinho so resolute that he feels he can bounce back from the November 2010 5-0 defeat and cause trouble in FC Barcelona’s treble aspirations.
There will be no nonsense in tomorrow’s line-up for Barcelona, contradicting the view that some pundits have that Guardiola will rest his key players in order to prepare for the more important Copa Del Rey final. Mourinho, on the other hand, might have a surprise or two. He made a scene in the press conference yesterday where he gave a silent treatment to the media. This might be his way to deflect attention from his team to himself.
There are a couple of alarming things that might make it hard for FC Barcelona today. The first concern would be form of the players. Villa hasn’t scored in 9 games for Barcelona, Busquets was a little clumsy and over-confident when playing centre-back, Keita didn’t provide anything special when trusted with a starting spot, and Pedro hasn’t found his scoring form yet after coming back from injury. Mascherano’s absence only adds insult to the injury, although it might prove to be a blessing in disguise as he can be more fit for the CDR final game. Pique looked a little out of his element in the last couple of games, albeit scoring two goals.
The second concern would be the defense that is conceding at least one goal every match except for the last match. The Puyol factor is sorely missed in Barcelona’s defense but it also lets Valdes and Pique grow a little bit more and become more mature in their performances. The last challenge for FC Barcelona is Real Madrid’s improved morale which has seen them have three clean sheets in a row and have Kaka, Benzema, and Higuain back and ready. Even Raul Albiol is cementing himself as a reliable starter for Real Madrid FC.
If Mourinho’s team history is anything to go by, he likes discipline, defense, and physical prowess as his team’s strong points. But up until now, Mourinho’s Real Madrid side has also tried to be attack-minded and very brave in going forward, especially with Marcelo as the surprise package marauding the left flank. It’s also very interesting to see his way of utilising Cristiano Ronaldo, because he’s currently the player who holds the most shots to the goal along this season among all top five leagues. It’s as if Mourinho encourages Ronaldo to keep trying for shots and finishing all the chances, even the half-ready ones to prevent over-committing to attacks.
So, it will be very interesting to see how Mourinho tries to fare his team in this first of four el Clasico. But more than anything, he needs his team to show up, improve, and try to prevent any further morale disaster. To do this, I think he’ll opt for the tried-and-tested method he’s always done so well - be compact on their own half and try to counter attack. This implies that Barcelona will have a lot of possession but little room.
Team News
Real Madrid FC

The team is happy to welcome Kaka, Albiol, and Higuain to the squad. Madrid has no notable absences, so Mou can field any starting eleven that he wants.
Predicted Starting XI: Casillas – Carvalho – Albiol – Ramos – Marcelo – Xabi Alonso – Khedira – Ozil – Di Maria – C. Ronaldo – Benzema

FC Barcelona

Barcelona is still missing Abidal and Bojan through injury while Mascherano will be absent from accumulative yellow suspension. Puyol has returned to the squad and is probably Guardiola’s hidden ace today.
Predicted Starting XI: Valdes-Puyol-Pique-Adriano-Dani Alves-Busquets-Xavi-Iniesta-Pedro-Villa-Messi.


 
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Puddz

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Aug 15, 2010
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Barca to win it. 3-1.

But looking forward to it. Should be a good match if Real Madrid put up more of a fight then what they did last time.
 

maniau

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Mar 10, 2011
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I think it will be a draw 1-1 or Mou will finally find a way to win and he'l win 2-1
 

Harriers09

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Jan 5, 2009
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no calls for a 5-0 Real win? no, none of us have access to the amounts of drugs needed to think that way

i might just **** a little if it is though
 

Frank

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Feb 27, 2009
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got a few bets on this game. really, really looking forward to the start of the four classico's.
 

bray123

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Nov 29, 2009
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ozil will be on the bench and Pepe will play as a defensive mid
-----------------Casillas
------Ramos-Carvalho-Albiol-Marcelo
----------------Pepe
---------Xabi Alonso-Khedira
Di Maria---------------------C. Ronaldo
--------------Benzema
 

I Hate Fish

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Nov 21, 2010
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ozil will be on the bench and Pepe will play as a defensive mid
-----------------Casillas
------Ramos-Carvalho-Albiol-Marcelo
----------------Pepe
---------Xabi Alonso-Khedira
Di Maria---------------------C. Ronaldo
--------------Benzema

Your starting line-up has 12 players in it....
 
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