Super Copa Tactical Preview: An Overview of Issues to Watch For [With Line Up Update]

The Super Copa is alway an in-between kind of tie.  It’s a trophy – but it’s also pre-season.  It matches the two winners – La Liga vs. Copa Del Rey – but neither side is playing in the form or fitness that saw it through to the original victory that placed in the the Super Copa to begin with.  When you’re playing your arch rival then the tie becomes even more important and convoluted.

Given that the season is yet to start, it’s difficult to accurately project which players Barça and Madrid will utilize or how they will be deployed.  As such, a full blown tactical preview would be limited due to speculation.  However, here are a few questions to keep in mind:

How will fitness impact the way both teams defend?

Barça’s is often equated with ball possession.  However, vigorous pressing to regain the ball high up the pitch as quickly as possible when lost is as critical to the system.  Ball possession and pressing act in equilibrium and it’s difficult to have one without the other.

Perhaps the biggest question headed into this match is whether Barça will have the team fitness needed to engage in it’s pressing game for the full 90 minutes.  My general sense is that this seems very unlikely.  If Barça cannot press actively due to limited fitness their high back line will be at great threat for being exposed.

Look for Madrid to seek to increase the intensity of their own attack at the end of the first half and towards the latter portions of the second half to expose issues of fatigue amongst the blaugrana.

Conversely, Madrid has it’s own challenge in defending.  If Barça retain the ball for 65-70% of the time Madrid will be forced to chase for long periods of time.  This could put significant stress on their legs.  Early in the season that could be a particularly difficult hurdle to overcome.  Look for Barca to try to “work the legs” of Madrid.  And look for Mourinho to prioritize maintaining shape in defense to promote efficiency and to utilize the depth on his bench.

Barça’s Forward Line – Will there be Enough Depth?

This question follows from the first.  Barça’s defense starts with their most advanced attackers.  The ball needs to be won back when lost as high up the pitch as possible.  This puts tremendous pressure on Barça’s forward line to hunt the ball.

However, with Afellay’s injury, the team only has four available forwards.  And of those four, Sanchez has not played a game with his new teammates and will not be integrated into how the team defends or attacks as a system.  Messi hasn’t played in a pre-season game with Barça either (and playing for the Argentinian NT is not adequate game preparation for playing with Barca – as the Copa America demonstrated).  At the same time Villa has had difficulties with fatigue.  It will be a challenge for both of them to play effectively over ninety minutes – and Sanchez is the only natural forward available to substitute for both of them.

How will Madrid Defend Between the Lines?

Last season one of Mourinho’s major tactical adjustments after the manita was to implement three holding midfielders to suffocate space between the lines.  Ramos appears healthy so he very well could play at CB with Pepe once again moving to the holding position.  The problem that arose last season is that once Pepe moved to DM, Madrid’s distribution, ball circulation and ability to retain possession were hurt.

A trophy is at stake here but it’s also a preparation for the competitions that will count.  If I were Mourinho, I would play Fabio Coentrao at DM today to see if his athleticism and experience defending coupled with his comfort on the ball can provide an alternative to a Trivote formation of Pepe, Alonso and Khedira.  Coentrao seems to be headed for a role as a super-utility player.  Against Barça his skill set would be interesting to deploy at DM.

Alternatively, it would be very interesting to see if Mourinho utilizes the pre-season nature of this tie to experiment with different formations in midfield besides the trivote (though Nuri Sahin’s absence may preclude that).

Can Barça Score Early?

While it’s pre-season for both teams, Madrid is further ahead in it’s preparations than Barça is for various reasons.  Because of this and because of Barça’s dependence on pressing Madrid will likely be very dangerous on the counter in the latter parts of the game.

If Barça is to win they will greatly benefit from scoring first and doing so early.  Given the issues of Barça’s forward line, their form may particularly suffer in latter parts of the match – and in the Barça system it’s really up to the forwards to carry the responsibility of scoring.

Playing with the lead is what’s really going to allow Barcelona to work the legs of the Madrid’s defense by forcing them to chase.  If they are not behind, Madrid will be able to prioritize shape and conserve energy while waiting to break on the counter at speed.

How will Thiago Run the Show?

Xavi is fundamental to every match Barça plays.  But against Madrid his importance heightens.  Over and over under Guardiola, we’ve seen Xavi play extended minutes even in games where Barça is comfortably ahead.  And the reason why that has been is that in many ways Xavi is Barça’s best “defender.”  His ability to retain possession and dictate play simply do not provide the opposition with the chance to keep the ball.  And it is axiomatic to Barça’s play that if the opposition does not have the ball they cannot score.

However, Xavi is now 31 and has had problems with his legs both last season and this preseason.  Nothing serious – but injuries that are likely the result of him playing so many minutes back to the summer of 2008 when the las Euors were held.

It seems unlikely that Xavi will play all 90 minutes today.  As such, the responsibility of controlling play – and defending with the ball – will likely fall to Thiago.  Given the team’s lack of fitness and the associated limitations in their ability to press, retaining the ball will be even more critical than usual against Madrid.

Later on in the season, it will likely be Fabregas who will orchestrate play for Xavi, particularly in important matches.  But today will provide Thiago with an opportunity to gain critical match experience against Barça’s biggest rivals.  How he does will likely have a major impact on the results.

On the whole, I’m expecting to see a Barça team that will be highly motivated to win this match.  But it will be one that is going to be significantly off form.  The team started training a week later than other clubs.  The CL victory extended their season last year significantly.  Barça had many key players in the Copa America and Guardiola insisted that they take extended vacation time.  Given the intricacy of the Barça system, playing for the national team is simply not adequate game preparation for starting the season with the club.  In addition, they only added two new players through transfers and one is still not with the club.

The point I’m trying to make here – don’t expect to see Barça executing the way it usually does.  It simply isn’t feasible for the players to do so.  Madrid won’t be either – and they are also missing key players (Nuri Sahin in particular).  But they are likely in better form than Barça is right now.

Ultimately what this Super Copa will likely come down to is how each’s sides current form and fitness interact with the system of play they utilize.  Tactically speaking, the team that implements  the system that is best adapted to their respective, current pre-season limitations will likely add silver to their trophy cabinets.

All that said – none of these reasons are sufficient causes for excuse.  As Guardiola said this week – the team that wins is the better team.  And Barça’s goal is always to be the best team out on the pitch.

Update:

The official line up is out now and there are some significant issues Barcelona is going to be faced with:

Via Barcastuff:

Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Mascherano Abidal Adriano – Thiago Keita Iniesta – Alexis Messi Villa

This line up first suggests that Pep is prioritizing rest for players that are not fully fit.  And it introduces a problem of enormous magnitude for Barcelona in this game, one that may prove critical to the success of their upcoming season:

How Will Barcelona Control Deep Midfield?

In last year’s Champions League semi-final the the major tactical change Guardiola made in response to the way Madrid played in the Copa Del Rey finals was to shift the axis of Barcelona’s play to deep midfield.  Because Madrid has clotted space between the lines, Guardiola had the full backs not go as forward as they usually do.  They played along the midfield line and provided outlets for the ball.  In essence, what Guardiola did was to create numerical superiority in the deep midfield in response to Madrid’s enhancement in numbers between the lines.  This numerical superiority allowed Barcelona to retain possession much more easily – but deeper on the pitch.

However, in doing this, Guardiola essentially put the team in Busquet’s hands.  It was Busquets who became the key orchestrator of play  from his deeper position – even more than Xavi.  Busquets completed more passes in the CL semis than Xavi did.

Now in this match today – Barcelona will not only not have Busquets to orchestrate play from deep midfield.  They also will not have Mascherano – who is going to be playing at CB.  This will potentially force Keita – who has limited experience and comfort at DM – to be the key player to retain possession.  This is one of the real limitations to having Mascherano cover both CB and DM.  He’s only one player.  And if Busquets is hurt it places enormous pressure on Keita to not only have to adapt at a position he is not comfortable at and doesn’t particularly like – it requires him to excel at it.  And in matches like today it may require Keita to excel at retaining possession and orchestrating play.

If Madrid overplay the space between the lines today – then the loss of Busquests may be an even bigger issue than the loss of Xavi.  With Xavi out – there’s Thiago, a natural central attacking midfielder, to back him up.  With Busquets out and Mascherano at CB – Barcelona do not have a natural DM to step in.  This is a significant challenge for Keita today.

Without a natural orchestrator of play in deep midfield – the Barcelona attack will be even more dependent on creative play from the front line.  Guardiola may have just wanted Sanchez to gain experience and started him as such (don’t believe Pedro has a knock).  However, in this formation close control of the ball and the ability to beat defenders becomes an even more important skill set along Barcelona’s front line.

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49 Comments

  1. mei
    August 14, 2011

    thanks for the review euler.
    It will be interesting and exciting to watch first sanchez game for us.
    Him running at defenders is a spectacular thing to watch and will be interesting to see what him and messi can do on the pitch.
    Visca el Barça!

  2. August 14, 2011

    But I want to win 0-2 so I can play this video again. 🙁 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=c9hTmkCWy44

    On a more serious note, spot on Euler. I’m curious to see if we’ll see Keita at DM at any time during this match. Actually, I’m curious to see the starting XI in general.

    The predicted lineup is this:

    VV – Alves – Pique – Abidal – Adriano – Mascherano – Xavi – Iniesta – Pedro! – Messi – Villa.

    Pique and Xavi aren’t fully fit. Adriano, sMasch, Messi and Adriano are the Copa guys, so are lacking match fitness… Thiago, Keita, and Sanchez seem to be our most likely subs.

    Lineup should be announced soon, so I’m looking forward to it.

  3. momo
    August 14, 2011

    Great post Euler, always look enjoy reading your tactical previews.

  4. Vj
    August 14, 2011

    Barcelona line-up (non-official): Valdes – Alves Mascherano Abidal Adriano – Thiago Keita Iniesta – Alexis Messi Villa #fcblive [cat radio]

    • Vj
      August 14, 2011

      via @barcastuff as always..

      Official one should be outed right about now..

        • mom4
          August 14, 2011

          what joy, what rapture, what heavenly bliss…*sarcasm*

  5. jordi™
    August 14, 2011

    Keita defensive mid

    Hopefully he has a good game :/

  6. August 14, 2011

    Alexis plays his first game against madrid!!!
    Big call for Thiago as well!

    So excited!!!!

  7. mom4
    August 14, 2011

    NOT the lineup I wanted.
    We’re all gonna die….
    Ek better bring lots of peanuts to the loveblob.

  8. August 14, 2011

    This line up completely changes the face of this game. As I’ve posted here before – a potentially critical part of how Barcelona will play this season will depend on Keita’s ability to play DM.

    I’ve updated my preview above. For reference here is the section I just updated:

    Update:

    The official line up is out now and there are some significant issues Barcelona is going to be faced with:

    Via Barcastuff:
    Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Mascherano Abidal Adriano – Thiago Keita Iniesta – Alexis Messi Villa #fcblive

    This line up first suggests that Pep is prioritizing rest for players that are not fully fit. And it introduces a problem of enormous magnitude for Barcelona in this game, one that may prove critical to the success of their upcoming season:

    How Will Barcelona Control Deep Midfield?

    In last year’s Champions League semi-final the the major tactical change Guardiola made in response to the way Madrid played in the Copa Del Rey finals was to shift the axis of Barcelona’s play to deep midfield. Because Madrid has clotted space between the lines, Guardiola had the full backs not go as forward as they usually do. They played along the midfield line and provided outlets for the ball. In essence, what Guardiola did was to create numerical superiority in the deep midfield in response to Madrid’s enhancement in numbers between the lines. This numerical superiority allowed Barcelona to retain possession much more easily – but deeper on the pitch.

    However, in doing this, Guardiola essentially put the team in Busquet’s hands. It was Busquets who became the key orchestrator of play from his deeper position – even more than Xavi. Busquets completed more passes in the CL semis than Xavi did.

    Now in this match today – Barcelona will not only not have Busquets to orchestrate play from deep midfield. They also will not have Mascherano – who is going to be playing at CB. This will potentially force Keita – who has limited experience and comfort at DM – to be the key player to retain possession. This is one of the real limitations to having Mascherano cover both CB and DM. He’s only one player. And if Busquets is hurt it places enormous pressure on Keita to not only have to adapt at a position he is not comfortable at and doesn’t particularly like – it requires him to excel at it. And in matches like today it may require Keita to excel at retaining possession and orchestrating play.

    If Madrid overplay the space between the lines today – then the loss of Busquests may be an even bigger issue than the loss of Xavi. With Xavi out – there’s Thiago, a natural central attacking midfielder, to back him up. With Busquets out and Mascherano at CB – Barcelona do not have a natural DM to step in. This is a significant challenge for Keita today.

    Without a natural orchestrator of play in deep midfield – the Barcelona attack will be even more dependent on creative play from the front line. Guardiola may have just wanted Sanchez to gain experience and started him as such (don’t believe Pedro has a knock). However, in this formation close control of the ball and the ability to beat defenders becomes an even more important

    • Calvin
      August 14, 2011

      “How Will Barcelona Control Deep Midfield?”

      The answer in this game was that they really didn’t control the deep midfield. Keita as a DM is the best advertisement for how importan Busquets is to controlling the midfield.

  9. Helge
    August 14, 2011

    Obviously Guardiola doesn’t give a damn about this SuperCup.

    I like that. I will deem a loss with one goal difference a success 🙂

    • Vj
      August 14, 2011

      So this is a huge success.. Any which way you look at it. + no injuries..

  10. ciaran
    August 14, 2011

    Do Barca ever make my life easy? This half has been their worst in ages and still going into halftime 2-1 up. Nobosy has played well yet and we are beating clearly a full strength EE. I’m a happy Cule

    • August 14, 2011

      “Nobody has played well”

      I disagree. Sanchez is playing well. Relatively at least.

      And Villa is the man of the match. Just for the goal he scored. Even if he didn’t touch the ball anymore!

      • ciaran
        August 14, 2011

        Sanchez has played relatively well but hasn’t had an end-product. It’s hard, he doesn’t know where to position himself and doesn’t know where his teammates are positioned so has to take an extra half-second over his teammates to make the pass. I’m very optimistic though.

    • Helge
      August 14, 2011

      I pretty much thought the same, but Sanchez is playing quite good.

      Abidal is definitely not in his best shape yet. I think he should have tackled Benzema on the sideline immediately, the situation cried for a sliding tackle imo!

      If we take all 3 points from the Bernabeu, I’ll be ROFLing – with a weakened site against a very confident, physically fit A line-up from EE that has just played their probably best pre-season ever 😀

      • just listenin
        August 14, 2011

        Hmmmm… Wonder why Abi didn’t go to ground? Look at the foul ratio – we played to avoid season ending injuries with a RM playing for blood. It was clearly a “don’t get drawn in and hurt – score opportunistically” strategy. Bravo Pep.

        When he says how happy he is in the press conference, everyone will come around.

  11. August 14, 2011

    2-2 and an excellent result for us (especially considering our atrocious play in the 1st half) as well as an advantage w/ the away goals.

    I was very impressed by EE’s play in the 1st half, their pressing and wave after wave of dangerous attacks. Then in the 2nd half they resorted to their familiar thuggy tactics. Pepe was despicable, he didn’t even make a pretense of going for the ball, just hacked down and bowled over our players. Marcelo was little better. Alonso had some howlers as well.

    Mourinho is going to complain about Valdes taking down Ronaldo with his arm, which should’ve been a penalty, but will naturally ignore the equally bad non call a minute later when Marcelo knocked Pedro over in RM’s box.

    Messi looked grand in flashes, Villa had a strong match, and Alexis looks extremely promising. Thiago didn’t have much of a game, however, his ultra-quick, occasionally undisciplined play wasn’t what we needed in the beginning of this game, when what was really necessary was Xavi-esque patience and calm. That defensive chaos cost us RM’s opening goal.

    A good game on the whole and a wonderful result. Sad that it’s going to be obscured by the inevitable and hypocritical complaints about the ref.

    • Víctor
      August 14, 2011

      Do you imagine how would it feel to be chosen as the ref for a Madrid – Barça in these days? The pressure, specially from Madrid’s side… the, obviously, medio attention and analysis for everything good (or bad) call you make.

      The ref was crappy, true… but then again, in these matches (specially now) I can’t blame them…

      • August 14, 2011

        I know, I wouldn’t want to be in his situation for anything. I can’t ever really criticise Clasico refs for that reason. Mourinho’s whinging has brought the pressure on them to a whole new level.

        This was a fair result. Calls could have and should have gone differently, but the result is fair.

  12. y2k156
    August 14, 2011

    At the beginning of night, i was looking for a match that was, well, not that important. But at the end of match, after having gone crazy periodically in match, i think it is very difficult to say that this was friendly and i do not care about result.

    Result in itself is quite good for us.

    Coming to actual match, we ended the match with pretty much the first 11 for this season with one or two exceptions so i cannot say that Pep treated the match lightly. We clearly wanted to win. EE were really on for this match though. I do hate some of their players and plays (today it was Khadira, Alonso, Pepe (always pepe) and Callejon) who were hell bent to make sure that i hated some of their guys. EE played well though, to give their due. Benz was quite good and so was Ronaldo and Ozil. If they go for it, they can give us a good game.

    As for our team, we are not at same stage and that’s for sure. First half was really difficult, especially as we struggled in midfield. Thaigo and Keita were really average/poor though Iniesta was quite good. Only good came from Messi and Villa. Even for Villa’s goal, Messi had dropped to midfield to get the ball. Otherwise our front three simply did not have any service what so ever. Was happy with Sanchez’s performance, especially considering that this was his first game in colors. Kid is quite good and will be a genuine threat. Smasch was awesome most of the match and i have a feeling that he and Puyi will share the CB spot this year. For some reason, Abi was quite crap in the centre.

    In conclusion, happy with performance and happy with the result.

  13. Srini
    August 14, 2011

    Madrid basically blew their best chance. They faced a half-decent Barcelona squad missing Xavi, Pique, Pedro (for most parts of the game), and Busquets (and of course Puyol) and still ended up managing to only draw the game. Having said that, they did dominate parts of the early first half and late second half and should have won.

    They are not going to have a chance at the Nou Camp when Pep will field Barca’s best team. Pique, Xavi and Pedro’s entry made Barca look far more comfortable on the ball than they did with Thiago and Adriano. Keita was a bad misfit at DM and Busquets’ presence there in the Camp Nou should tilt the balance onto Barcelona.

    Good game though for the purists.

    The inability to build play for Barcelona should be put down to the absence of Busquets. Xavi’s entry was reassuring as Barca managed to string out series of good passes, but it also showed that Thiago was not quite ready, as much precocious as he is.

    Alexis seemed a bit confused about positioning, in my opinion, but he worked very hard. One or two sequences of passes between him and Messi were very promising. Villa scored a maravilla goal, but never got enough touches on the ball and so did Iniesta.

    Abidal was below par, Adriano was only half-decent, and Alves, surprisingly was poor. The less said about Keita, the better. Pique’s entry brought a lot of order into the Barca defense. Mascherano also was jittery but did his bit with spectacular retrievals from tough situations. Valdes should not have pushed Thong Boy..there was no need to.. and Pedro probably deserved a penalty.

    For EE, Pepe was as usual pathetic and a deranged animal on the park. So seemed to be Marcelo now and then, but who was otherwise good in attack. Benzema and Ozil played really well, so did Coentrao and Xabi deserved that well taken goal.

    It is not going to be easy in the Camp Nou, but I sense yet another addition to the silverware when Pep fields his best squad.

    • August 14, 2011

      Alexis has exceeded expectation of any kind. He jumped in and owned marcelo more than 3 occasions. His movement is just as good as Pedro, but whether to drop deep to cross, he was confused. He will get better very soon.

      Alexis played an AMAZING game given it’s Benabeu.

  14. just listenin
    August 14, 2011

    I hope everyone understands what we just saw… There is nothing at all to be worried about. Beautifully executed, smart SMART strategy. Everyone walked out through the tunnel and we even got away goals – sweet.

    • mom4
      August 14, 2011

      I don’t think the regulars will worry. I panicked about the game in the first half but not the season. I didn’t think I cared as much about this game, but once our guys are out on the field, it doesn’t matter how meaningless the cup is(and BG_Indo putting the thought of them lifting a cup, any cup, in our house made me care more too 🙂 ).

      • just listenin
        August 14, 2011

        Of course you can’t help but care, it’s a Clasico. Mourinho keeps trying to win battles and is losing the war. He is getting outwitted over and over – I guarantee this one stung every bit as much as the 5-0. He thought he would run over us because we were underprepared physically and team integration wise. He said he didn’t care about winning this, precisely because he couldn’t care more… And we walked out with a draw by doing what we had to, and nothing more. I was really surprised at Ray Hudson’s commentary. It was clear just several minutes into the match that we were going to try to stay at opposite sides of the cage from the rabid critters we were locked in with. Maybe he didn’t want to call it straight and give them props… But it was a testament to just how awesome we are –

  15. mom4
    August 14, 2011

    A better than expected result. That first half had me panicking even though I knew we were behind in our preparation more than they and we had critical players out. Defensive midfield is such a critical position for us. We missed Busi badly. How huge was Mascherano today! How promising is Sanchez! What was up with Abi though? Messi was not his usual brilliant self today, but had some flashes of messiness, and I lived for those flashes of brilliance this game.

    Do hector pills help lower blood pressure after games like these? Does nomorebullsh*tamine help? Should I go to my doctor for sedatives before the next game?

  16. Olufestus
    August 14, 2011

    Given barca’s preseason form,the result is not bad,draw @ madrids home…CAMP NOU WILL BE HOTTER

  17. y2k156
    August 14, 2011

    Btw, Sid Lowe and Graham Hunter are reporting monkey chants against Alves and Keita from the Madrid supporters today. Let’s see what mr Mou and Madrid have to say about it. Its a sad thing and just because they made such a huge issue of this last year, i wait to see their response on this.

    • jordi™
      August 14, 2011

      I heard it on my feed but it was so brief i was unsure.Glad im not crazy.

    • Judas Pissed
      August 14, 2011

      I actually heard those on Sky Sports in the 2nd half. Mourinho will say it was Busquets…

    • Helge
      August 14, 2011

      It was not intended by Khedira. I believe that he seriously just had eyes for the ball, so it is not comparable to the De Jong incident of the WC, for instance.

      Khedira is actually a nice guy off the pitch, and he immediately reacted with an excusing gesture. It was unlucky, but less malicious than most of Pepe’s tackes and kicking from behind.

      • Vj
        August 14, 2011

        Eyes off the ball or not, that’s a red. Intent doesn’t matter..

      • Ryan
        August 14, 2011

        He nearly ripped Abi’s face off though! To be fair, some of our guys committed some high challenges as well.

      • just listenin
        August 14, 2011

        Pepe should have had a red for trying to break Dani’s leg, again. There was an indisputable intention to crush that we weren’t engaging in. We barely pressed, except for brief moments, 50/50 balls were conceded 70/30 before anybody made a move, we played brilliantly – even if rusty. Notice how quckly we unloaded the ball before we could be challenged (very physicaly) Who cares… Two days of full squad practice and we tied their more or less best squad that has been playing together the whole, best preseason ever for them… C’mon. It was beautiful.

  18. Helge
    August 14, 2011

    Alexis was very impressive.

    How many training sessions did he have with the team? 3 maybe?

    Given the short time that he’s spent with the team, imagine him when he is fully integrated into the team. Sometimes he was offside when it could have been a very promising attack had he stayed onside (just started one millisecond too early on some occasions).
    But his defensive work was already sublime. He challenged CR succesfully more than once, I loved that 😀
    Would have been a perfect debut for him if he had controlled that one ball which looked suspiciously offside but in fact wasn’t.

    I tasted blood, now I want the SuperCup!

    About EE: Mourinho is still an effing douchebag on the sideline with all his mimics and gestures; Pepe should be imprisoned for his violent nature, he is a serious threat to the health of any opponent! They should have taken more out of this match; CR is putting too much pressure on himself in big matches and thus fails to deliver in most of them, which leads to lots of funny CR crybaby posings – hilarious 😀

  19. Vj
    August 14, 2011

    So whom owes whom what for the Cesc bet?

  20. Helge
    August 14, 2011

    New all-time record btw, 5 consecutive away Clásicos without a loss!

  21. Humphrey Bogart
    August 14, 2011

    Could not give a damn about this mickey mouse cup. If I think back at the last supercopa first leg last year and the experimental line up of Pep, I was hardly surprised to see this line up. Alexis was phantastic, Messi and Smasch did just come back and were good in this circumstances; hope our biscuit comes back soon, he was dearly missed today

  22. Vj
    August 14, 2011

    So what changes after 2 days?

    I hope Xavi, Busi and Pique are fit enough to start.

    If not, will we struggle again?

  23. just listenin
    August 14, 2011

    There is a difference between struggling, and doing just enough. The club proved this several times last season.

  24. adopted cule
    August 20, 2011

    Gorgeous analysis. Completely anticipated Keita’s inability to anchor the Barcelona possession game.

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