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El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov - European Football (EPL, UEFA, La Liga) - Nairaland

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El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Krayola(m): 5:03pm On Nov 26, 2009


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Barcelona v Real Madrid: el Clasico preview
by Guillem balague

Despite all the hype and furore surrounding the return of Florentino Perez to the Real Madrid presidency – a return that heralded a summer of unprecedented spending at the Bernabeu - I think that most level headed Madridistas would have been absolutely ecstatic if you`d suggested to them that their team would be sat at the top of the La Liga table – above FC Barcelona – when the bitter rivals clash at the Camp Nou -

After all, even the most die-hard would have recognised that this is no ordinary Barcelona side that Madrid were attempting to challenge and that if they could even get to within touching distance of last season`s European and domestic treble winners, then Florentino`s newly assembled star studded line-up had done pretty well to find some consistency in such a short space of time. Throw in the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo has been missing for over half of Madrid`s league fixtures, combined with a few well worn clichés about Rome not being built in a day – and you`d think that everyone in Madrid would be absolutely delighted with the progress that Pellegrini has made so far. You might think that, but of course, Madrid being Madrid, or maybe we should say, football being football, you`d be wrong.


Pellegrini has led this Madrid side to, statistically, one their best-ever starts to a Spanish league season - not since three points were introduced for a win in the 1995/96 season have Madrid picked up 28 points from their opening 11 games - yet despite that, the former Villarreal coach has found himself dangerously close to the Bernabeu trap door on more than one occasion.


People inside the club had even suggested that he could be sacked if Madrid lose to Barcelona at the Camp Nou! However, they are now having doubts about that: which is symptomatic of a knee jerk school of strategic planning. The problem is, for Pellegrini`s detractors, it`s not the results that are the problem: it`s the manner in which they`ve been obtained. The home win over Racing Santander at the weekend sums up Madrid at the moment: it was uninspiring, maybe even a little fortunate if you count the visitor`s incorrectly disallowed goal, but they got there in the end.

This is not enough for those who believe that if you spend astronomical amounts on players, they ought to be producing out of this world performances the minute you put them in the same coloured kit. All of which helps explain why the Madrid sports daily Marca feels that it is necessary to attack the Madrid coach on a daily basis and ,even when Madrid win to go top of the table, as they did on Saturday, the front page on Sunday declares: VICTORY (DESPITE PELLEGRINI).


Yet this criticism of the coach is excessive, because the team has been improving and after an entirely forgivable initial settling in period he is getting closer to finding his ideal team, formation and system.

The Chilean has taken some bold decisions to resolve some of the problems that the team encountered in their earlier fixtures: for example, Guti and Raul have been marginalised to bring about greater cohesion both tactically (they are using a more direct style that suits Benzema, Kaka, Higuaín, Cristiano…) and psychologically: ever since the pair found themselves on the sidelines, Madrid have gone unbeaten and look like more of a team, putting in their best performances to date against Milan after that humiliating cup exit to lower league opposition. Higuaín has effectively come into the side as Raul`s replacement and – after finally getting the chance he so thoroughly deserves – is repaying his coach with 4 goals in 3 games (a goal every 58 minutes which is considerably better than Raul`s 194 minute strike rate).

Even the president should be happy with the selection, as Higuain is making Karim Benzema, Perez` €35 million striking investment, look a lot better than he did alongside Raul. On Saturday, they looked much more solid at the back and Pellegrini made the best use of his midfield yet: deploying Xabi Alonso as the only defensively minded player at the back of a diamond that included Drenthe and Granero on the left and right, with Kaka effective at the forward tip.


That is not to say that Madrid are not without there shortcomings, and their style of play and system at the moment still means that they do not have the players or the formation to control a game or dominate in possession: they are reliant upon a direct, counter attacking approach as soon as they win the ball back.

The return of Ronaldo, who should be fit for el Clasico, is vital. His absence has certainly been felt in as much that Madrid have won only four of their nine competitive matches since Ronaldo has been sidelined - compared to previously winning all seven with the former United man in the team. All of which underscores the fact that Madrid, despite their points tally, are still reliant upon individuals and still not the finished article as a cohesive unit – which bring us round to their opponents in this weekend`s massive fixture.

Because, despite a recent dip in form, FC Barcelona are one of the finest teams around and when it comes down to controlling possession and dominating a game, there is nobody better than Guardiola`s side: which is why I make them favourites to beat Pellegrini`s team at the weekend.

Madrid can hurt Barcelona on the break, they do have the individuals who can inflict damage upon any team – but unless they are able to control the game for any length of time, they will be punished. We`ve already seen this on previous occasions this season when Madrid were beaten by quality sides (Sevilla and AC Milan) and it is fine surrendering possession to weaker opponents – as they did in the home game against Tenerife, for example – but if they do that at the Camp Nou, they will spend ninety minutes chasing shadows.


Barcelona aren`t without their faults either at the moment and they are not playing at the same level that enthralled us last season. It`s all relative, but we might even say that they are going through a mini-crisis: drawing their last three away fixtures and we`re hearing criticism of Guardiola for the first time in the Catalan press.

These are challenging times for the Spanish and European Champions and they face a daunting run of fixtures in the coming weeks: by the time you read this they will have hosted Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday - knowing anything other than a victory could create serious problems - followed by the visit of Madrid to the Nou Camp for `El Clasico` next weekend. Before the Christmas break, Barcelona face a tough trip to Deportivo la Coruna and a derby against Espanyol in La Liga, as well as a freezing winter trip to Dynamo Kiev in a match that could decide whether they progress in the Champions League. Plus they travel to Abu Dhabi for the World Club Cup. All of which add concern to the fact that the team have appeared mentally and physically tired in recent weeks. On top of that, they have injury worries over Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and, although both could be cleared to feature in midweek, the fitness of Barca`s two leading scorers ahead of el Clasico has got people worried behind the scenes at the Camp Nou.

I had a private chat with Pep Guardiola last week and there are worries about Ibra who has been unlucky with injuries and was in the same situation at Inter. The former Inter striker has been pivotal for Barcelona until now and one of the keys to his success is that more than 50 per cent of the goals he scores have been the first goal for his team – which partially explains why the team are drawing games in his absence.


However, that is not the complete picture: Barcelona have been making far too many individual mistakes that are proving costly and they have been struggling against physical teams. Since Valencia showed everyone else the way, teams have been pressuring the Barcelona midfield, smothering Xavi and breaking up the endless triangles the Barcelona midfield pass the ball around to mesmerise the opposition. In the draw with Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, Barcelona even resorted to long balls: a horrendous mistake when you are playing without a recognised centre forward and the entire front line are dwarfed by the opposition.


Yet, despite the fact that teams have come up with a way to make life difficult for Barcelona, I don`t think that Real Madrid are the kind of team that will play in a way that has caused them to struggle. They have neither the personnel nor the inclination to play that way at the moment and their style could play right into Barcelona`s hands. This game reminds me of the circumstances surrounding the build-up to last season`s reverse fixture at the Bernabeu: Real Madrid had closed the gap on Barcelona, the team in white had won an astonishing 17 of their last 18 league games and the pressure on Guardiola`s side was supposed to be unbearable. Yet we knew then – just as we suspect now – that Barcelona were, and still are, the better team.

Guardiola`s side may have dipped recently, but we know that they can - and will respond to pressure – that they can raise their game when the time comes and that they have the system to beat Madrid. Pellegrini`s side, on the other hand, are still a work in progress and despite my defence of them earlier, if Barcelona produce a performance even close to anything like their best, they still have a long way to go to be at the level of their Catalan rivals as a collective unit.

That doesn`t mean we will see a repeat of last season`s humiliating 2-6 defeat at the Bernabeu, but it does leave me suspecting that Madrid fans will need to be patient for a little longer before we can truly say that they are ahead of FC Barcelona.

Nuff said.

Discuss!!  cool
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Cristalz(f): 9:11pm On Nov 27, 2009
Krayola, you nor serious o. grin

''Nuff said'' how? Just pictures, no analysis. Na wa for you. grin
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by FBS: 9:12pm On Nov 27, 2009
This is the worst pre-match analysis I have ever seen on NL!
A match of such magnitude? shocked
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by khanye(m): 9:16pm On Nov 27, 2009
Nice 1 kray, dont mind haterz
Barcelona Duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic & Lionel Messi Available For El Clasico - Report
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Ibime(m): 9:16pm On Nov 27, 2009
hehehehehehe. . . . . Krayola, pls fedex me some of that stuff!!!. . . . . Im guessing it is Thai red-string that you are using these days!!!  grin grin grin
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by FBS: 9:21pm On Nov 27, 2009
Ibime:

hehehehehehe. . . . . Krayola, pls fedex me some of that stuff!!!. . . . . Im guessing it is Thai red-string that you are using these days!!!  grin grin grin
Ibime! Wicked!!! grin grin grin
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Krayola(m): 11:25pm On Nov 27, 2009
@ Cristalz. , thats the wrong one. There is one with analysis. Delete this one and get the other one .
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Krayola(m): 11:27pm On Nov 27, 2009
never mind. . .i'll just repost it. U guys really need to do something about that spam bot. angry angry angry
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Krayola(m): 11:28pm On Nov 27, 2009
There, happy now? grin grin
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by biina: 1:25am On Nov 28, 2009
Time to justify some of those millions. Want an early Xmas gift  grin
The pressure is on Barca, playing at home and in second position. Madrid going 4pts clear is not a palatable thot for the cules cheesy
Hope the game lives up to the expectations. The ref needs to watch out for handball by Henry  tongue
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Krayola(m): 1:47am On Nov 28, 2009
haha. Nothin dey happen. I trust my boys. Always show up for the big games.   cool

It'll be interesting to see what midfield we play and who will play on our left wing. If Xavi and Iniesta start in midfield we'll have to play Keita as DM and he has only played there once this season. Yaya hasn't played since the whole flu thing so i doubt he'll start that game. I can't imagine Henry not starting but that is the only way Keita (Pep's loves him as he as started all our league games this season bar one or two max), Xavi and Iniesta will be on the pitch at the same time. Busquets has proved he is good enough to play in these big games but I doubt he'll start this one.  It's great having so many options.  wink

It's not even certain both Ibra and Messi will start yet. . .but i'm pretty sure they will. This is arguably the biggest game of the season and u wanna put your big money players on the field.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by biina: 2:05am On Nov 28, 2009
Assuming that Ibra and Messi are fit enough and start alongside Xavi, Pep will have to drop one of Busquets, Iniesta and Henry. I think the best choice would be to drop henry (who can then come on later in the game for either Ibra/messi/keita/busquets depending on the scoreline and game flow).
Busquets is the only DM, while Keita adds some steel to the midfield in the absence of Yaya. Iniesta can play on the left in place of Henry and still be able to drop in to midfield to help when they lose the ball. Dropping Keita will likely result in Barca being out muscled in midfield (xavi and iniesta are not the most physically gifted). Keita as a DM will struggle against Kaka and could get an early booking, making him less effective for the rest of the game.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Borat1: 10:10am On Nov 28, 2009
I hope the game will live up to all the hype, sad
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by edoyad(m): 10:34am On Nov 28, 2009
So na this weekend sef ? Nonentity league with nonentity clubs, even Bayern thread dey pull more crowd.

Make una goodluck eh ! No be say la liga title mean anything sef but atleast you can use the worthless thing to enter UCL. tongue
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by khanye(m): 10:52am On Nov 28, 2009
biina:

Assuming that Ibra and Messi are fit enough and start alongside Xavi, Pep will have to drop one of Busquets, Iniesta and Henry. I think the best choice would be to drop henry (who can then come on later in the game for either Ibra/messi/keita/busquets depending on the scoreline and game flow).
Busquets is the only DM, while Keita adds some steel to the midfield in the absence of Yaya. Iniesta can play on the left in place of Henry and still be able to drop in to midfield to help when they lose the ball. Dropping Keita will likely result in Barca being out muscled in midfield (xavi and iniesta are not the most physically gifted). Keita as a DM will struggle against Kaka and could get an early booking, making him less effective for the rest of the game.

YAYA is fit to play tongue
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Cristalz(f): 10:52am On Nov 28, 2009
@Krayola
Nor vex.  .  .this is the only thread Seun moved back here from the spam bin. I didn't know another existed.
Nice copying and pasting though. cheesy grin

@topic
Ibra and Messi will play. They were on the bench against Inter Milan on Tuesday, remember.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by scantee(m): 11:23am On Nov 28, 2009
hey guys the game is ours,no doubt.

FCB all the way. smiley smiley smiley
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by eyoniggar(m): 11:40am On Nov 28, 2009
Biina, I think u shud be busy analysing who and who your coach is to play, not helping us do ours.

Ibra might start the game while messi wud be on the bench as a sub, but he'll definitely play.

We really dnt have any pressure on us, Madrid are the ones with pressure trying to avenge last seasons 6-2 destruction. Their arrogance wud lead them to another early grave.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by honeric01(m): 11:54am On Nov 28, 2009
ko kon below, madrid below, kon below ha ha ha, madrid prepare for another roller coaster!!! grin grin grin grin grin
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by edoyad(m): 11:57am On Nov 28, 2009
Who do you guys think will become Madrid's coach after tomorrow's game ? grin
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by honeric01(m): 12:13pm On Nov 28, 2009
edoyad:

Who do you guys think will become Madrid's coach after tomorrow's game ? grin

onigbinde lipsrsealed
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by eyoniggar(m): 12:38pm On Nov 28, 2009
edoyad:

Who do you guys think will become Madrid's coach after tomorrow's game ? grin


Amodu wub be a better buy.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by annyplenty(m): 1:50pm On Nov 28, 2009
Barca and its fans will be shocked. hala madrid.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by Krayola(m): 2:36pm On Nov 28, 2009
biina:

Assuming that Ibra and Messi are fit enough and start alongside Xavi, Pep will have to drop one of Busquets, Iniesta and Henry. I think the best choice would be to drop henry (who can then come on later in the game for either Ibra/messi/keita/busquets depending on the scoreline and game flow).
Busquets is the only DM, while Keita adds some steel to the midfield in the absence of Yaya. Iniesta can play on the left in place of Henry and still be able to drop in to midfield to help when they lose the ball. Dropping Keita will likely result in Barca being out muscled in midfield (xavi and iniesta are not the most physically gifted). Keita as a DM will struggle against Kaka and could get an early booking, making him less effective for the rest of the game.

I agree with pretty much all dat .  .  . Except I think Henry will start. Having two thorough-bred target men on the field just gives us that many more options. I don't expect Xavi and Iniesta to have that much space to be doing shakara so we're goin to need the long ball option. Plus, Alzes will have that many more targets in the box. Madrid is top of the table so we need the points more, for now - Iniesta is great on the left wing but he isn't really a goal scoring threat.

I don't expect this game to be a one sided affair.

I feel sorry for Pellegrini because there are too many egos to please in that team. First of all benching Raul for the clasico is just trouble in itself. IMO Higuain should have an automatic starting spot on that team. . .hell, on any team. . .but he's probably goin to start on the bench. I'll recommend you guys start Arbeola as LB and Marcelo as LM so CR9 won't have to be tracking back as much (they'll be up against Messi and Alvez). Trying to attack pound for pound at Nou Camp will be suicide. I'll stick CR on the right to keep abidal paranoid, and make our left side less potent - Plus Sergio Ramos should be able to handle Henry or Iniesta. The idea will be to suck us in and then try to use your warp speed to breach our prostitute defense on the break. Lass and Alonso are going to cover a ridiculous amount of ground tomorrow, and all your chances will rest on how well they can get the ball out of the back. Our "secret" is to put so much pressure on the defense that all they can do is make hasty clearances that end up giving the ball right back to us. If both those players can keep their composure and get the ball to your forwards, u have more than enough attacking talent, and speed, to do serious damage. One thing i will be worried about, if I was a Madrid fan, is that the new signings might "try too hard"  to put on a show. I can so see CR9 trying to win it all by himself. . ALso, they may be totally mentally unprepared for the hostile clasico atmosphere.


I think it's going to be an excellent game.  Can't make any predictions. . . But it'll have lots of goals.

Cristalz:

Nice copying and pasting though. cheesy grin
wink  Thats how I got through secondary school in Naija. U can take the monkey out the jungle u can't take the jungle out of the monkey.  grin grin I be Xerox, latest model with all the bells and whistles.  tongue
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by edoyad(m): 3:04pm On Nov 28, 2009
grin

I prefer Amodu too.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by semid4lyfe(m): 3:16pm On Nov 28, 2009
I don't support any footie club. May the better team on the day win.
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by scantee(m): 4:24pm On Nov 28, 2009
I'm Not Afraid Of Barcelona, But I Don't Want Lionel Messi To Play - Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

hahahhhaa Mesii too much oh
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by scantee(m): 4:29pm On Nov 28, 2009
scantee:

I'm Not Afraid Of Barcelona, But I Don't Want Lionel Messi To Play - Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

hahahhhaa Mesii too much oh

http://goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/11/28/1652870/im-not-afraid-of-barcelona-but-i-dont-want-lionel-messi-to
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by honeric01(m): 4:37pm On Nov 28, 2009
aha ha ah, see this yarnsh dey fear
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by scantee(m): 4:55pm On Nov 28, 2009
Top 10 Most Unexpected Things That Will Happen During El Clasico

Laporta agreeing to sell Messi to Real Madrid at half-time

Kaka’s move to Madrid was a surprise, Samuel Eto’o leaving Barcelona and Ibrahimovic coming to the Camp Nou was unexpected, but Cristiano Ronaldo ditching Manchester United for the Bernabeu was the big shocker. But all of that would pale in comparison to Barca agreeing to sell ‘Little Lionel’ to their arch nemesis, and the player himself agreeing to the switch. Forget a flying pig’s head… the whole of Barcelona will be hurling a horse’s head at him.


Thierry Henry setting up a goal for Gerard Pique with his hand. Twice

The giant Barca defender has become quite the goalscorer, netting yet again in midweek against Inter in the Champions League. ‘Titi’, meanwhile, has become quite the assist-man, setting up Pique’s goal with a nod-on from a corner – legitimately –just a week after that controversial hand-ball assist for William Gallas against Ireland in the WCQ play-off. If the Frenchman does get away with any illegal goals or assists on Sunday evening, any debates about referee’s helping Madrid will be banished forever and ever
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by scantee(m): 4:59pm On Nov 28, 2009
Karim Benzema spending the evening playing FIFA 10 on his Playstation 3

The Frenchman has been known to go very quiet during certain games as he continues to integrate with his new team-mates. And if Barcelona dominate Madrid like they do in their other games, Benz could be in for a very lonely 90 minutes. So could Victor Valdes in the Barca goal. Perhaps the two of them could hook up for a PS3 Clasico of their own. After all, Xavi is looking for someone to avenge his defeat.

hahaaha just follow this link and read more.

http://goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2009/11/28/1653352/top-10-most-unexpected-things-that-will-happen-during-el
Re: El Clasico! Fc Barcelona Vs Real Madrid [1 - 0] on Sunday 29th Nov by biina: 5:29pm On Nov 28, 2009
Benzema is the only player that may not be able to handle the pressure. Every one else (kaka, CR and xabi) should have enough experience for the occasion.

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