UEFA Champions League Preview: Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid

UEFA Champions League Preview: Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid

  • Posted by Geoff Reid
  • On May 3, 2011
  • Geoff Reid, UCL 2010/11

By Geoff Reid

Barcelona vs Real Madrid from the Camp Nou, Barcelona (Barcelona leads 2-0 on agg.)

Well this the last installment of el classico for this season, and maybe these two sides have faced each other too much in the last few weeks. After last week’s first leg in the Spanish capital which was definitely not the best game of the season by any means with red cards to players from both sides starting, and unused subs, as well as manager Jose Mourinho, can we expect a better game of football at least? Honestly, who knows?

Lionel Messi was the one shining light in what was a poor example of sportsmanship, and a bad advert for the beautiful game. The fallout was just as bad, with Mourinho accusing of Barcelona getting all the decisions and winning their previous European Cup under Pep Guardoila by cheating. Needless to say, there will be a lot of suspensions today due to the aftermath, and it will be interesting to see the final outcome.

Both sides come into this second leg after losses in league play this past weekend. Barcelona ended up losing to Real Sociedad 2-1, although Guardiola made 7 changes to his lineup, but the 31 game unbeaten streak in La Liga is broken. For the visitors on the other hand, lost at home 3-2 to Real Zaragoza, and slipped to their first back to back defeats of the season. It’s very clear to say both teams had tonight’s match in their minds, and with Barcelona pretty much already having wrapped up the league, this is now Real Madrid’s sole focus after winning the Copa Del Rey.

If Real Madrid are to get back in this tie, they need to score early, and that will mean Christiano Ronaldo, and Angel Di Maria need to create space for Emmanuel Adebayor to do what he does best, which will be difficult. The problem for Barcelona is maybe getting too complacent, although Guardiola has never been a complacent coach, and shouldn’t be a problem for this players.

Guardiola has good news in that Eric Abidal who’s been out with a tumor in the liver for a number of months now, as well as Andres Iniesta who missed the first leg. Gabriel Milito, Maxwell, and Adriano all will not make the final match squad, as well as Bojan Krkic who is now a long term absentee. For Madrid, Sami Khedira has not played since he tore his right abductor muscle, and Fernando Gago is still out in the long term with the same problem.

Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid (Barcelona win 4-1 on aggregate)