The One Where I Lose My [BLEEP]: Barça – BATE

CL Preview: Barcelona – BATE Borisov, Tuesday 2:45pm ET, Fox Deportes

It’s the return of BATE Borisov and the kind of game that Barça often loses because we start players you’ve never heard of or have forgotten. Like Fontas, who is somehow in both of those categories. I’m trying to sell him in FIFA and no one wants to buy him even though he’s actually pretty good. That kind of player. See, there’s this little matter of the group stage being completely meaningless to the team now as well as some kind of game happening this weekend that is vaguely important or involves something people care about.

So yeah, something something blah blah, Borisov this, Belarus that, Hleb everything. Ugh, I don’t care.

I really don’t.

Did you think I was kidding so you kept reading, thinking I was going to talk about their captain, Dzmitry Likhtarovich, and some sort of awesome personal story of triumph that ends with him getting 18 goals shuttled past him by midgets in red in blue? Well, I’m not. Because as awesome as Dzmitry Likhtarovich’s first name is (Dzmitry!), I don’t know anything about him–

Screw it. There’s no way I can avoid it:

Occupy Bernabeu? I’m with it, especially the part where everyone chants “Tell me what manitocracy looks like. This is what manitocracy looks like!”

You know what else I’m with? Sideline Xavi:

Yes. In. Deed.

Official Prediction: some number to some other number. I seriously don’t give a crap it is clásico week, get it through your thick skull. And yeah, Villa scores or something. Maybe Cuenca? Rivaldo? Who even plays for us? I don’t know! But don’t worry, we’ll have a liveblog for you and probably some tweeting that will make your head spin. Or at least shake back and forth vigorously.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

61 Comments

  1. Dani_el
    December 5, 2011

    Xavi’s celebration, hell that’s our second capitá! Corajeee
    I’m really nervous about this game, and I’ll be watching it online, if I get a stream, most likely I won’t.
    Visca el Barça! A por ellos! Let’s get them!

  2. BarcaGirl_Indo
    December 6, 2011

    lol, it’s a really good thing we have qualified, as the group winner.

    imagine if this match is a life-and-death situation like Chelsea-Valencia or Basel-MU.

    yikes.

    • December 6, 2011

      Yep and judging from our lineup (or predicted at this point) I will be watching Valencia – Chelsea, it looks promising. but Visca Barça !

  3. SteveHK
    December 6, 2011

    IT’S F@#$IN’CLASSICO WEEK!!!!

    Also I f@$#in’ love the Xavi gif!!

    CLASSICO!!!!

  4. Chiu
    December 6, 2011

    The shortest preview this season 🙂

    Concerning classico – I sense the hype that the media generally put EE as slightly favorite. It’s closely the same circumstances that were built before the 1st classico last season. I have no clue whether it would psychologically beneficial for us or not. We’re going there with “must win” duty to slice the gap. As usual, approach from Pep is always respecting and being cautious against every opponent.

    I hope that “EE is favorite” publicity make them less alert. Let them believe they’re superior to us now; table wise and tactical wise. Then BANG! We shock and knock them hard on the match.

  5. December 6, 2011

    So I am freaking out, the Clasico is not listed on Gol TV on the directive channel guide for saturday….Can anyone give me an idea of which channel the game will be on in america, and what time.. Thanks ya’ll

    • Ben
      December 6, 2011

      It is listed on the GolTV online schedule for 4 PM Eastern

    • just listenin
      December 6, 2011

      GolTV is showing almost wall to wall Clasico specials, and replays, almost as many as they have infommercials…. it’s on GolTV, they are living for it at the moment. “Clasico Legends” is on about 5 times today, and there are Super Copa, and Copa del Rey Clasico specials as well, then the 1-1 from the Bernabeu back in April late tonight, -that’s just today…more tomorrow

    • sd
      December 6, 2011

      i have many a times a freaked out because goltv was not showing the listing but dont worry they will. Their listings for the next week (sat-fri) dont come out until friday, the day before the week starts. Also, on TV those listings sometimes dont show up until a few hours before but the game is still on. Their scheduling of games is very appropriate for a channel showing la liga.

  6. hammeronmessi
    December 6, 2011

    somebody mentioned in the previous post where all of us will watch the classico?
    will be flying to Japan while the the game is on.for the first time in 12 years I will not be able to watch the classico.Damm you official tour.
    can anybody help me where or how can I see the match later in Japan?no downloads.help me.

    the classico lineup I am pretty sure it will be the Makita lineup with Alexis on the left bill in centre and messi in a free role in the right side.

    back line no question puyi pique abi dani.

    no place for cesc in the starting lineup

    • Chiu
      December 6, 2011

      what are you doing hammeronmessi? are you tour guide?

      maybe you can find good stream using laptop while flying

      • hammeronmessi
        December 6, 2011

        @chiu,

        nope.going to the komatsu plant.we are buying some heavy machinaries from them for my
        orgaionization.m a mechanical enginerr.

        hopefully find a good stream.not too optimistic though.

      • hammeronmessi
        December 6, 2011

        @chiu,

        nope.going to the komatsu plant.we are buying some heavy machinaries from them for my
        orgaionization.m a mechanical enginerr.

        hopefully find a good stream.not too optimistic though.

        thank you,mate.

        • Chiu
          December 6, 2011

          Hey, am engineer as well. I took industrial engineering at uni. But now am running my own retail store; selling hardware.

          Have a nice trip bud! Any plan to watch Barca playing club world cup ?

    • December 6, 2011

      Veetle.com, streams and there is from time to time a stream on replay after the “big” matches happen. Good luck !

    • Ryan
      December 6, 2011

      It’s tough to watch from Japan due to the time difference, but if you’re in a large enough city there will be some sports bars that will show the super-late game (3:45am game, if memory serves). Even the smaller towns are likely showing it, but it’ll just be bars where the owner likes soccer and thus pretty hard to find out aside from asking the bartenders.

      Your best bet might be to watch it online. There are countless internet cafes where you can reserve a computer and just stream the game live.

  7. hammeronmessi
    December 6, 2011

    smartphones are really smart.
    manita becomes manita,villa becomes bill.

    waiting for some truly remarkable posts regarding classico from all of the contributors.

  8. Chiu
    December 6, 2011

    I’m also looking forward for that blockbuster classico preview.

    Besides, I want to express my appreciation for all writers for the effort given for this blog. A wonderful place for cules. I regularly check this site, at least twice a day; in the morning at office and before sleeping :p

  9. barca96
    December 6, 2011

    From all the possible line-ups shown on barcastuff, I liked this the most;

    Possible line-up (vs BATE): Pinto – Montoya Pique Fontas Maxwell – Thiago DosSantos SergiRoberto – Cuenca Rafinha Pedro #fcblive [rac1]

    I want Thiago and Dos Santos in midfield to bring back their old glory days and they have a great chemistry so at least they can try to control the match.

  10. Gogah
    December 6, 2011

    I don’t understand the amount of grief people have been giving Pique.
    Yes, the manner in which he earned that yellow was a bit poor. But I am positive NO player in the team has the guts to do something against Pep’s instruction. Even though Pep’s body language showed somewhat unconvincingly his disappointment with the booking, i am quite sure he had instructed pique to get that booking. after all it is within the rules of the game.

    It seems like a mind game to keep mou guessing about barca’s lineup.
    how many people out here think that pique and puyol will start the clasico? or will it be just pique and masch or puyol and masch?

    • Chiu
      December 6, 2011

      Perhaps somehow Pep instructed Pique to get booked, but not that crystal clear obvious. Possibly he can do shirt pulling or kind of kicking the ball to the sky booking. But whatever Pique does to get booked, I think the suspicion will always surface, especially 2 match before the Classic. And it’s same for EE players if they do alike. It’s sourced from the holes in the rules that required to be adjusted.

      My pick is Pique and Masch as CB pair. Suppose Puyol would be subs in to reinforce the defense, if we’re leading the scoreline.

    • hammeronmessi
      December 6, 2011

      i think both of P & P will start classico

      • Gogah
        December 6, 2011

        and bench Masch, our most in form defender? Unlikely.
        Pep will most probably opt for venom and give el jefecito the nod.
        the only question for the other spot is do we want our inspirational captain with who everything seems so much safer or do we go with an elegant giant who adds much more to the aerial and attacking side? He is no slouch in defense either.
        the hardest part about making decisions is just making it. and believing in it.

    • incense
      December 6, 2011

      Well how about all three of them + Abidal? Recently Pep has been fielding a 3-man defense so why not try and surprise EE by being more orthodox? And the game is at Bernabeu after all.. I guess the team could look something like:

      ———–VV———–
      Piyol-Pique-Masch-Abidal
      ——–Busquets——–
      Alves—Xavi–Iniesta—
      ——-Messi——Alexis

      ..which gives the option of Villa/Cesc/Pedro replacing a defensive player if things go wrong.

      And yet, I wouldn’t bet money on that lineup 😛

    • Ryan
      December 6, 2011

      I don’t understand the opprobrium either. Would people rather that Pique actually risk harm to another player, when the end result for us is the same? Unless the rules change, players and coaches will continue to work within those rules to gain an advantage. I don’t see why the degree of how obvious you are in receiving the 5th card has anything to do with the punishment. I was fine with EE’s deliberate yellows, by the way.

  11. mani
    December 6, 2011

    That Xavi celebration is a beaut! Makes me want to break stuff !@#*!)@#)*!# ITS CLASICO WEEK!@#!@(#

    And it’s also EXACTLY how I’ll celebrate each goal we score. At home. At home on the couch. At home on the couch on the white carpet. I DON’T CARE CAUSE XAVI DOESNT CARE!@#()!@

    My goodness the wait is excruciating.

  12. December 6, 2011

    I’m struggling to recall a Barca game which people care less about than this one.

  13. Chiu
    December 6, 2011

    For me, this classico week make me can’t concentrate and focus at office. Man, everything in my mind is about classico. I keep bearing in my mind,” this is just a game, don’t be too obsessed”. But I can’t, my mind keep gripping about Saturday match. Arrgh, this is bad for life :p

  14. hammeronmessi
    December 6, 2011

    i m sure that pep will play a 4 man defence consisting dani,almost sure that the CB s will be P & P.(if puyi is fully fit)

    masche deserves a place in the starting line up.

  15. December 6, 2011

    Ozil’s traveling to Amsterdam (Cl game vs Ajax). My guess that we’ll see similar lineup to the Valencia game might be on the money.

    Assuming we do see a Lass/Xabi/Khedira midfield, that may play into our hands, no? Our central problem is that we need Cesc to start in his free role, which means a backline of 3 .

    Starting that mid means we could play either a 343 or 352.

    Thoughts?

    • December 6, 2011

      I really don’t think Cesc will start. There are only two ways for him to start:

      1. Play 3 at the back — this won’t happen because we need a 4 man backline against Madrid, and each of the defenders is crucial in their own specific way.

      2. Put Villa on the bench — I don’t think Pep will do this. The main reason is that Cesc can still impact the game as a sub but Villa won’t. I’d rather start with Villa and see what happens.

    • Nik
      December 6, 2011

      352 over 343 please. I’m pretty sure that if Milan knew the defensive weaknesses to attack in the 343, Madrid will most definitely know as well. Although, I have a feeling Pep will have the squad rotate formations throughout the match.

    • hammeronmessi
      December 6, 2011

      Assuming we do see a Lass/Xabi/Khedira midfield, that may play into our hands, no? very much so.

      in that case we can play in our usual 4 3 3, which can be turned into 3 5 2 depending how they played in the first 20 mins.

      just like the first 3 minutes of the universe,the first 20 minutes of the game is very crucial to us.we are usually very vulnerable in the opening few minutes and we need assurance for those times.who better to give us the assurance than the backline of D P P A.

      i m pretty sure that we are not gonna use 3 cbs.

    • mom4
      December 6, 2011

      VV
      Alves*, Puyi (if healthy), Masche, Abi
      Alves*, Xavi, Busi, Iniesta, Cesc
      Messi, Sanchez

      *Alves plays as a RB or wigback or winger or wherever on the right he’s needed in order to a. support the offense, b. make CR’s life a living hell.

      formation: amoeba – everyone plays offense when we have the ball, everyone plays defense when we don’t.
      Seriously, I have no problem with a 3-5-2 because if we start having problems then Alves drops back. Problem solved. I expect them to press us very high up the pitch and the more midfielders we have, the better off we will be.

      One thing for sure. Pep will shock us.

    • Chiu
      December 6, 2011

      I expect Cesc to start to shape 4 midfield. We require extra man in the middle to counter EE intense pressing. Our 3 defense would be relatively secure as long as we can dictate possession. After scoring 1 or 2 goals, we can subs out Cesc with another defender to hold the lead. So we begin with 3-4-3.

  16. hammeronmessi
    December 6, 2011

    the last line be should read like this

    masche deserves a place in the starting line up,though

  17. Lev
    December 6, 2011

    Masche deserves to start but we might need more height in the backline, which is why I would opt for Puyol-Pique

  18. December 6, 2011

    I’m as sentimental as the next guy but on a rational basis, Puyol should not start this game. Yes I understand all the stuff about leadership and a big heart etc. But Pique and Masch are our two best CBs and least likely to get caught out. We need Pique’s height for set plays and we need Masch’s speed and anticipation to put out fires. With all due respect to our brilliant captain, he should not play this game, or at least he should not start.

    • hammeronmessi
      December 6, 2011

      Puyol should not start this game. Yes I understand all the stuff about leadership and a big heart etc. But Pique and Masch are our two best CBs and least likely to get caught out. We need Pique’s height for set plays and we need Masch’s speed and anticipation to put out fires. With all due respect to our brilliant captain, he should not play this game, or at least he should not start.

      if u talk bout fitness then it is justified,but IMO when fit he is still our best cb exactly for his above mentioned qualities.r u saying that he is a defensive liability when still fully fit?

      know everyone is going for pique masche partnership,but classico is such an intense and emotional game that its a must for us to have puyi.

      • mom4
        December 6, 2011

        I’m with hammer on this one. This game screams for Puyi (as long as he’s over the whole head injury thing).

        The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
        (Blaise Pascal)

      • December 6, 2011

        I’m saying even if all 3 are 100% fit, I would prefer a partnership of Pique and Masch.

        • mom4
          December 6, 2011

          Masche is a necessity.

          Puyol:
          pros: experience, faster than Pique, smarter than Pique (football wise), inspirational, would sacrifice his whole body rather than let a ball get into our area
          cons: older, slower than before, shorter than Pique

          Pique:
          pros: tall, ball distrubution, better with the ball at his feet than Puyol(this could be very beneficial if they’re pressing us high), often willing to bleed from his head for the team.
          cons: prone to brain farts

          I would go with Puyi on this. But I understand if Pep goes with Pique.

          • Ryan
            December 6, 2011

            Pique is also much more clinical than Puyi, for what it’s worth when considering defenders!

    • hammeronmessi
      December 6, 2011

      really?dont bother to read the preview.

      that kicking pic is absolutely barbaric.loved it.

  19. hammeronmessi
    December 6, 2011

    we are all guessinh about our classico lineup.

    what bout them?havent seen a single game of them.

    can anybody she a light on their lineup?

    the front 3 of them IMO are divemaria,higuain(for pace)and the beautiful,rich,handsome one.

    • mani
      December 6, 2011

      I think Benz gets the nod. Atleast to start:

      Arbeloa-Pepe-Ramos-Marcelo
      Xabi-Sami-Ozil
      DMaria-Benz-TB

      IMHO if, somehow, there were ZERO corners, freekicks, set pieces, etc. the whole game, I don’t see us losing. It’s the darned set pieces against us that always terrify me.

    • Chiu
      December 6, 2011

      I bet their 3 front line would consist Di Maria, Oezil and The rich man. No true target man as usual classic starting line-up. And then they structure their trivote in the middle with Xabi, Khedira and possibly Coentrao/Lass; depend on who Mou play as RB. If Lass play RB, we’ll see Coentrao in the midfiled and vice versa. And their backline definitely will be Pepe-Ramos- Marcelo .

  20. mom4
    December 6, 2011

    I’m appalled. Frankly, I’m disgusted at the lack of enthusiasm for this CL game. I don’t care who is or who is not in the sqaud, this is Barca, this is an official game, and a true cule would care. Our Barca Babies are gonna be out there. The next generation of Xavis, Messis and Iniestas…

    OK, I tried. Yeah, Honeybadger and I are on the same page here. I will watch later tonight though to see how the kiddies did.

    GO VALENCIA!!! BEAT the crap outta CHELSEA!!!!

    • December 6, 2011

      I’ll be watching Chelsea vs. Valencia as well. Will everybody be watching Chelsea vs. Valencia?! Maybe we should have a LB on that match lol

      • just listenin
        December 6, 2011

        Can’t.Do.It – must watch Barca, going into media blackout mode and will watch Valencia-Chelsea recording immediately after Barca match…

    • mani
      December 6, 2011

      I actually am quite excited to see how Thiago and Dos Santos go about business in the middle. Also haven’t seen too much of Rafinha though his brother keeps insisting Rafi is the more talented of the two.

      As for Chelski-Valencia, I think if the blues were to lose, AVB would be done and dusted. Though if they do lose, it would be nice to see them focus on the PL and give the terrible two in Manc a fight.

    • Ryan
      December 6, 2011

      I really was hoping both teams would progress. Valencia as the only real challenge to Spain’s big two, and Chelsea because of Mata, Torres, and Romeu. As it stands now though, amunt!

        • mom4
          December 6, 2011

          Oh, I didn’t think of that possibility. Thanks for planting that happy little thought in my head. Much as I like Chelsea’s Spanish players, I’ll support any (well..except that one team) Liga team in the CL.

  21. Renata
    December 6, 2011

    Am I the only one who’s actually gonna watch this happily? o.O

    • mom4
      December 6, 2011

      I’ll watch it happily later tonight. FSC is showing it at 7:00 pm EST (’bout 5 hours after kickoff). If I go through the trouble of watching some of the B games on crappy feeds, ofcourse I’ll watch this. But I’m more than willing to wait for TV and hubby to get home and not fight with a links.

  22. December 6, 2011

    Oriol Romeu is starting vs. Chelsea. Yay. Will be keeping an eye on him.

  23. Worddriven Bozo
    December 6, 2011

    That preview was pure garbage. If you don’t care, don’t write. You’re not getting paid anyway.

    • Ryan
      December 6, 2011

      Are you new around here? It always gets crazy when the clasico looms!

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