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Latest Barcelona Match Round Up

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UEFA Champions League Tue, 21st Apr 2015
Next Match
Primera Division Sat, 25th Apr 2015
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"You should never get nervous about anything. What today seems important, tomorrow isn't so anymore." - Tito Vilanova

A year ago today Tito Vilanova lost his battle with cancer. Gone but never forgotten #TitoEtern

Let win the derby for him !! :'(
+10
Does anyone know if Robben, Ribery, Benatia will be able to play the 1st leg of the UCL semis?
Robben is doubtful, Ribery won't be and Benatia is set to come back on the 27th
I just read this troll post on Bleacher report but it was too funny to not share:

BALE WILL RETIRE AND PURSUE SINGING CAREER...
NEW SINGLE "IM ALL ABOUT THAT PACE,THAT PACE, NO DRIBBLE"
+3
Barca have allowed 19 goals in la liga.
Juve have allowed 15 goals in serie A.
bayern have allowed 13 in Bundesliga.

La liga is much more competitive than the other two leagues. So which team has better defense?
I feel they are all similar, but I give it to Bayern normally mainly because of Neuer. However Bayern with Dante in the back is terrible, and seeing as Badstuber, Benatia, and Martinez are injured, he's probably going to play, so I give it to us. However we are prone to lapses in concentration, and Pique has been shaky lately so it's a tough call. That Valencia game was like schoolboy defending. Not to mention if Masch plays, he is still susceptible to lofted passes and set pieces.
We struggled in the valencia game because of team selection. The midfield had no balance because of two holding midfielders and Adriano was just s**t. Once lucho introduced rakitic and moved Mathieu to the left valencia had nothing.

Our madrid game followed the same story in the absence of busi. We tend to make mistakes but so do they. I think bayern have conceded 13 goals only because Bundesliga doesn't have as much quality to take advantage of their lapses in concentration.
With all 3 squads' best players fit, Bayern easily.

When Benatia has played for bayern, they have only conceded 3 goals. Not to mention Rafinha plays RB most of the time for them. Imagine a back line of Neuer, Lahm, Benatia, Boateng, Alaba
I think the FCB clash will be good. But I think, against popular opinion, that you're the clear favorites.

The only thing that will keep you from winning the AGG score would be tactical failures from Lucho.

This is possible but he has had enough time I think that he will be okay.
I think we'd be favourites too IF it was a final, a one-off game. Over the course of two games, with the final one being played in Bayern, we're probably underdogs by a tiny margin.

The positives are:
+ We're qualitatively better than Bayern considering their injuries
+ We are in great form, Bayern are in OK form
+ We have barely any injuries
+ We know how Pep plays through and through

The negatives:
- Pep knows us through and through as well, he probably still watches us as often as possible and knows his good friend Luxo very well too
- Bayern are typically very strong over two legs
- They have the final game at home
- Their injured players are slowly returning and might all be fit in time to face us
And the most important negative:
- Bayern can relax several games before they play us because they've basically won the Bundesliga already. They can then play a physical game and dominate us by pressuring all over the field for basically 90 minutes. We cannot relax in La Liga at all, so it's very likely we'll be much more fatigued than them.
Fatigue will be a very important factor but we are playing cordoba 3 days earlier. I think lucho will rest rakitic, neymar and Iniesta for that game. If we get goals early he will sub out busi, alves and Suarez. One thing pep might have learned from his experience last year is to keep his players on their toes instead of resting too much because of their assured Bundesliga win. They do have an advantage there but lucho has rotated well all year.

The x factors in this tie might be the brilliance of two individuals - Messi and Pep.
How glorious would it be if we beat nothing but champions on our way to the finals and then beat Madrid!

our road to the finals: PSG, Ajax, Apoel // City, PSG, Bayern

Madrid: Liverpool, Basel, Lugodorets // Schalke, Atleti, Juve (And they have pretty much half-assed all their games and barely got through)

How awesome would it be to beat Bayern and then Madrid in the finals? It surely would be the most glorious CL victory ever.
+3
I made a post about this before the q final draw. We had the rare opportunity to go through every league winner in Europe from last year if we hadnt drawn psg in the last round. We played psg in the group stages. We could have played juve, then atletico or bayern then madrid.
+1
A big component of this tie for us will be whether players can get over the mental factor. This is a group of players who are not used to being handed big losses, and it's the first time we're meeting Bayern since the 7-0 drubbing. Can our players truly put that residual fear behind them and play without being subdued?

The player I have the most doubt about in this regard is Pique. I think he relied on Puyol to give him the big picture and without that he might be a little lost. Although let's hope that with his new form he has turned over a new leaf mentally too.
I'm confident we'll put up a much bigger fight than we did last time around. We just might be able to win it!

Pique has has been iffy the past couple weeks but with Alba fully fit and Alves playing the way he has been, our defense is MUCH better than the beating we received last time.

I hope we are ready for the well oiled machine that Bayern is... I am scared lol
We definitely need MSN to be 100% efficient. We won't get many chances but when we do, we better take it!

As for your profile pic, I'm still searching for something mean :p
Glad we got Bayern.
This is the match I wanted more than any other.
Ever since the semi final draws were made the Internet is full of articles and comments about bayern's win against barca two years ago. Somehow the analysis is that bayern have changed the way they play while barcelona still plays the same style as they did 2 years ago. I'm not sure how some of these "experts" have their jobs coming up with their ridiculous observations. Bayern surely plays a different style than what they did under juup but this barca team is competely transformed under lucho. They have no problems going into counter attack mode something they didn't do at all under pep and tito. They have almost cured their aerial problems which started under pep. I think pep is a better tactician than lucho and he gets even better over two legs but then the game is played by players not managers.

Bayern under juup had players playing at their top levels which I don't see anymore. Lahm and schweini are still top class but I don't see them dominating our midfielders or forwards. The most important aspect of our line up is MSN. We have rarely had games where all three played their best games but somehow one or two of the three pick up the slack such has resulted in 96 goals scored between the three off them. Iniesta is beginning to get into his rhythm and rakitic is being phenomenal. It depends on who is available to play for either teams. Their defense is slightly better than ours. The midfield is probably equal slightly in favor of bayern. There is no question about the front line because msn is miles ahead in terms of quality compared to ribery, Robben , Lewandowski or muller.

I think the key to success lies in the midfield. I'm reading everywhere that bayern will win the possession battle. Why? Pep invented the possession style football that we play but we also know how to win without keeping possession. I think it'll be close but we surely have the players and motivation to get this win.
+1
Thinking back to the last time we faced Bayern, our midfield was the engine of the team. However, Xavi and Iniesta were outmuscled, and often hacked, by Javi Martinez and Scwheini. We played half-hearted pressing, which was more detrimental than good, and Messi was about 30% fit. Jordi Roura was our (clueless) manager. Not to mention Bayern scored several goals that should have been disallowed.

This will be a completely different match up. Both teams have changed dramatically in terms of player composition, style, and tactics. Bayern certainly have a way of forcing in the goals when they need to, we will have our hands full. I think it will all come down to whether our attacking trio gets proper service. If they shut down our midfield and prevent us from properly transitioning, we will be in trouble. It should be a fascinating two legs indeed.
+3
What scares me about Bayern is that they score every kind of goal.. set pieces, open play, tiki-taka, goals out of nothing, well worked goals, and all their players are capable of scoring goals..

For us, we hugely rely on MSN to do the work for us. I think the key to winning this tie is definitely Messi but also Suarez. He has to be at his best.

I don't think we will win the MF battle.. not for the full match anyway and I think Bayern will get the better of us in possession and we will look to score on the counter in the 2nd leg.

Either way, I just booked off our match days. I don't think I've ever been this nervous about a CL tie.
One of the great transformations of this team is they use long balls. I read a statistic that barca has scored around 12 goals from long balls this season which is higher than all the past 6 seasons combined. We were struggling to control the game vs madrid and we used plan c. We haven't conceded a goal from set piece for the last 6 months and we have scored from say pieces.

Busi will be key in this game. His improved form along pique's heroics have turned the season around for us. We press defensively almost as good as we used to under pep. The counter attacking threat is also largely reduced these days. Of course the players could have an off night and all tactics could go out of the window but I'm not sure bayern's current back 4 can stop msn.
+2
@Franky

I think the MF battle will be more important though. If we're getting pressed hard (which we will) and our MF is being overrun, MSN will be starved of service and will be largely absent. Exhibit A: Madrid first half.

Iniesta Busi and Rakitic will have to have the game of their lives.
I agree bayern will press and try to win the midfield battle but our big problem in the madrid game was the absence of busquets who had just come back from injury and didn't play most of the game. Busquets is the one who absorbs all the pressure from our opponents and distributes the ball in tight situations. In his absence Iniesta couldn't do what he does best. busi has to give a master performance.

Bayern is going to have trouble containing msn. Alaba is out so messi is going to go for the left flank. Neymar's duel with lahm will also be extremely important. If we stretch them wide they can't press us as well as they would like to because Iniesta and Suarez will be pushing up in the middle. I still think we are a better passing side that bayern but they have more versatility with their attack. I think we should launch a few aerial balls right at he beginning and see how they respond. Both dante and Boateng have had trouble with long balls and with Suarez' ability to collect those and finish, we have an added dimension to our attack which bayern doesn't have.


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3 days ago
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3 days ago
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Primera División Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
78
70
19
89
4
3
25
32
1
76
67
28
95
6
1
25
32
2
69
35
26
61
5
6
21
32
3
65
31
25
56
5
8
19
32
4
63
21
37
58
7
6
19
32
5
52
14
30
44
8
10
14
32
6
46
-3
38
35
12
7
13
32
7
46
-4
37
33
13
7
13
33
8
42
3
34
37
12
9
11
32
9
42
-1
40
39
12
9
11
32
10
41
-21
59
38
17
2
13
32
11
38
-7
43
36
12
11
9
32
12
36
-17
45
28
16
6
10
32
13
34
-27
54
27
16
7
9
32
14
31
-16
44
28
17
7
8
32
15
29
-30
60
30
17
8
7
32
16
28
-25
52
27
18
7
7
32
17
28
-23
51
28
16
10
6
32
18
25
-36
57
21
15
13
4
32
19
20
-31
52
21
19
11
3
33
20
C/L  C/L Qualifying  UEFA Cup  Relegation 

UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
8
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
11
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
12
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
14
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
15
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
16
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
17
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
18
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
19
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
20
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
21
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
22

UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
15
10
5
15
1
0
5
6
1
13
3
7
10
1
1
4
6
2
5
-2
10
8
3
2
1
6
3
1
-11
12
1
5
1
0
6
4

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