Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Champions League Semis: Real Madrid vs Barcelona Preview (1st Leg)

Real Madrid vs Barcelona (1st Leg)
April 28 @ 2:30AM (Balls Channel)

Okay, so far there’s one draw and one win for Real Madrid in the el clasico series (click here for match recap, stats, etc. of the previous el clasicos):

el clasico I – La Liga (Apr 16): Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid
el clasico II – Copa del Rey (Apr 20): Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid

The Champions League semifinals leg 1 and 2 will be the last in the el clasicos series.  Will Real Madrid continue their winning momentum?  Or can Barca scrounge up a win? Real Madrid now seems to be the favorites.

The good news for Barca is that Andres Iniesta escaped a match ban from picking up 2 yellow cards but the bad news is, he’s injured.  Barca cannot seem to catch a break.  I’m not too worried with Iniesta missing the match as they still have David Villa, Leo Messi, Xavi Hernandez, etc up front.  What I’m worried about is Barca missing its key defensive players to injury and illness.  They will be without Eric Abidal, Adriano and Maxwell.  Carles Puyol as well sa fellow center-back Gabriel Milito are both struggling to be fit for Wednesday’s match.  Puyol’s presence will be sorely missed should he be sidelined in this game.  He was able to play in the el clasico I but was stretchered off during the game.  In the el clasico II, he was an unused substitute (maybe Guardiola was resting him).  So even if he plays in the el clasico III, I doubt he’ll be the same defensive force as he was prior to injury.

Puyol stretchered off during the La Liga match
I’ve said it before, a strong offense might win Barca some matches but facing a team like Real Madrid, the need both their offense and defense to be strong. 

Another thing Barca should watch out for is Real’s aggressive style of play (they say Real finishes a match with 10 men, as one player is sent off.  They had players sent off in each of their last three meetings with Barca).  They don’t want to add another one to their list of injured players.

I’m hoping for Pep Guardiola to come up with some brilliant tactical formation to manage their defense dilemma and win big in this match.  This isn’t the same Barca team that annihilated Real Madrid 5-0 last November, but this will be an exciting match to watch, for sure.

More great articles on the match here:

No comments:

Post a Comment