Liga Preview: Barça – Real Madrid, Monday 3pm EST

They’re a swarm, coming at you. The hills, green moments ago, are turning white. From high up, you’re sure they look like ants devouring the forest floor. You look at your men: they’re hard men, strong men. Men with the look of veterans, with scars—is one guy missing an arm? Jesus—men without fear. They’ve followed you into worse. You’ve led them into worse. Remember that. Remember you trust them, that you wouldn’t trade them for anyone else. It’s never a good day to die, but if you’ve got to go, take a few of them with you.

You cycle quickly through your catalog of inspirational speeches. There’s that laugh-a-minute version of the Braveheart For freedom speech—no, too gimmicky and probably not appropriate anyway since you mention things that’ll disturb one or two of the younger guys, the guys who haven’t been on as many campaigns—the JFK Ask Not remix you worked on all night but which you’re pretty sure will just scare them, and there’s always Marcus Aurelius, but you can’t quite remember the original Latin and it just doesn’t pack as much punch in translation.

Here they come, someone shouts. They’ll be on you in a minute, like a horde of zombies, but uglier and less intelligible. You’ve got to say something, you’ve got to let the men know you’re with them. It’s like the time in college when you did all that research for that midterm on the mating habits of rhesus monkeys until 3 hours before hand and then you panicked, realizing that the professor had said bonobos, not rhesus. Just like that. You know you can do this. You reach back, into your mind. Wrap your hand around that idea, that one right there. Ah yes. You can tell this one is a real clusterbomb of genius.

I’m not freaking out. I swear to you. I don’t have random moments when I’m having a conversation with The Lady and suddenly, midsentence—sometimes even midword—I stop and stare off into space because my heart just went from country path to autobahn and either I’m having a heart attack or thinking about el puto clásico. Thankfully I don’t do that. Thankfully I’m level-headed and capable of rational thought during the 72 hours before a match of this magnitude. I didn’t, for instance, have trouble sleeping on Friday night because I was thinking about tactical formations to counter a 4-2-3-1. That would be absurd and a bit scary.

Official Prediction: 2-0, goals by Messi and Pedro. That is right, suckas, I’m going for a full on clean sheet ass kicking and not just because Valdes is my keeper in fantasy La Liga. This is war, this is death, this is EL CLÁSICOOOOOO.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Beautiful. That’s how I’d sum that preview up. I’m hoping for a lineup of VV-Alves-Pique-Puyol-Abidal-Busi-Xavi-Iniesta-P!-Messi-Villa. anyone else?

    1. But Pep is the master of unexpected lineups in big games. In the last Clasico, Alves started as the right forward–I was very surprised when I was reminded of that.

  2. I just saw the Colts get smashed by the Chargers, and honestly, I’m only a bit upset.

    If Barca loses tomorrow, I’m going to just die.


    Mi religión, el Barça, mi templo, el Camp Nou, y mi D10s, Leo Messi.


    1. me too, but my lab doesn’t have anything that could blow up. they don’t mess with that stuff until next semester. it might look suspicious…

  4. How many hours left to go? I’m at work and I can’t even concentrate. 😛

    Will there be a liveblog for this match? I sure hope so!

  5. We will be true to ourselves and the best lineup will always be the one we know.

    We will keep the ball all day if they are lucky enough, they will get a draw. But of course, I know we will win 2-0 as well.

  6. Ah getting up at 3:30am to watch it! (Western Australian Time)

    With work in the morning…


    Because Im so excited at the prospect of a Xavi inspired Golazofest!!!!

    Im thinking 3-0 with goals from the Pedro, Messia and either Xavi or Iniesta (although they may be the same person….)

    Visca el Barca!

  7. I’m no terrible fan of your club for your transfer exploits (ambitions) of late esp. vis a vis my London club, but I will be rooting for you tomorrow against that ramshackle assembly of platinum pram toys and their primadonna entrenador. You’re not terribly humble, but your coach is, and he has the talent to not have to be, so: kick some mardisita culos!

    1. I agree with you. Some players at our club are not that humble;
      Xavi is one player whom I always get nervous when he get’s interviewed. Dani Alves is not that bad.
      The rest are all humble.

    2. if they’re humble they must be malprojecting nervously! Messi is certainly cognizant of the effect of his words; Pedro is young, Iniesta is a true gentleman of sport and deserving of the applause he receives across Spain, Keita is injured…for the rest…Hala Barca para mañana.

    3. This whole exchange is like a wet towel. Seriously, thanks for the support, but no need to be bringing this up now.

  8. Beat rivalry in sports. And I’m so blessed to be a part of it!!! VISCA EL BARCAAAAA


  9. Why is there a new post so soon up?
    Euler just posted his.
    I’m worried people might overlook his great post(s).

    If I would follow my heart, I’d roll with our best line-up but I don’t think we would win with that. So gotta use brains to outsmart Mourinho.

    It’s better to play sMasch & Busi together in midfield to assist Alves & Abidal.

    1. “So gotta use brains to outsmart Mourinho.”

      Why? He’s just a fuckin’ translator!

      (Pure unaldurated biased, delusional cule mode is ON)

    2. sMasch AND Busi together! PLEASE DO THIS PEP! I know he’s the brilliant coach and I am just a fan (and only 2 years into this obsession) but I might be able to breathe a little bit knowing we have those two together.

  10. This is the big one, i hope and think we will win this, however i think we will concede, cause pique is having a bad season so far, if i were PEP (god i wish that was true) i would use abidal as CB and rest pique for this one or at least i will use abidal as a left back and left back only (no full back duties) this way he can come across the area to make a tackle or run a player out of the field
    My prediction for this is that EE will be jeered and booed
    But my official prediction is we will win 3:1, who scores and when? i actually dont care.

  11. Im going for a 4-2.

    Gonzalo Higuain ’25
    Lionel Messi ’44
    Pedro ’56
    Di Maria ’60
    Lionel Messi ’79
    Lionel Messi ’90

    If im right you will all bow down.

    1. If this is right, I will first create a golden altar for you and then bow down to it 😀

      Wow, this match, this game of football, is totally irrational and mind-blowing. I can’t concentrate on my bachelor thesis since Friday, my productivity has been reduced to ZERO lately. The match itself surely has the potential to cause a heart attack. I’m still pretty young, but what if such a clash of titanious titans occurs in 40 years time??? Right now, I actually believe there will never be a game like this ever again – judged by anticipation.

    2. You gotta partly thank the 2 Portuguese guys for creating that extra edge and glamour and excitement.

    3. Yah, I know, in that regard he is the ‘Special One’, because he turns this match into a truly special one ^^

    4. You cant concentrate on your bachelor thesis…I cant concentrate on my bachelor RESPONSIBILITIES!!!!! I am ‘withholding’ from mah lady till about 545…once the game is over!!!

  12. Bugger. Day off due to snow disruption. What do they expect me to do now all day to take my mind off this ?

    Seriously, if the players feel even a fraction of the pressure we’re feeling I’ve no idea how they can even kick a ball. I’ll not relax till I see that first Xavi to Iniesta to Xavi to Iniesta . . . . And when I see Iniesta getting kicked three feet into the air at the end of that tika taka I’ll know we’ve got them 🙂

    1. I read your comment in the last post or 2 post’s ago. Was really funny(regarding hte snow). My dad worked there in the winter 13 years ago. Kept complaining that there were TOO much snow but you made it sound like it’s something unique.

  13. I am more of a blog creeper than blog poster.. but I had to say something cause this will be my first clasico in Spain!! Granted I am actually in Madrid (egad!) studying abroad, so not quite the same as if in Barcelona, but we found a Barça supporting bar last week just for tonight! I´ve had jitters all weekend.

  14. Leaving for the airport in half an hour. I dreamt we won 4-0, let’s hope it comes true!

    Visca Barca!

    Boti boti boti, madridista qui no boti!

    (Are you jumping? 🙂 )

    1. I WISH! No, I am going to see my family in Saskatchewan and will miss the match entirely. My kind and wonderful brother has agreed to let me download it from rojadirecta onto his laptop, but who knows how long it will take for it to be uploaded to the site first?

      I can’t decide whether to spoil myself and check the score as soon as I get there, or suffer in agony while I wait to download it and watch it unspoiled.

    2. Oh, that’s bad luck 🙁

      I recommend to NOT look up the score before watching the match. It destroys the whole excitement, I have once missed a Sevilla-Barcelona match (I guess it was the re-match from last season, something like 34th playday and it was still a very close race between us and the EE) but couldn’t wait to see the result. Thinking back I have to say suffering for some more hours would have been the better choice. Obviosuly, we had a superb match back then, I dunno if I would have felt differently if we had lost the match.

    3. i download and watch matches from rojadirecta quite frequently, especially midweek CL games which I tend to have to miss due to class. It’s actually quite amazing how fast they upload matches either in torrent or some rapidshare-esque site. I would say a full match torrent will be available roughly an hour after the final whistle, with plenty of seeders/lechers as well.

  15. My prediction is quite dynamic. Some scenarios:

    1) If we score an early goal(within first ten minutes), I am predicting a 5-1 victory for us as Ronaldo and company will come out chasing to avoid a 5TH CONSECUTIVE DEFEAT.

    2) If the first half an hour goes goal less then we should win 2-0.

    3) If RM scores an early goal, then this match most probably weill end up with we winning 2-1.

  16. Am totally psyched up for this one. Apparantly Real bus got stoned in Barce. Sadly it was not stoed stoned:).

    another 7 hrs and bit to go. Will mostly reply some of the last classico’s though there is no additional need to get into mood.

    I predict a 7-4 for us with hattricks by Villa and Messi.

    1. what really pisses me off is when rival supporters say ‘This is the classlessness of the Cules’
      As far as I am concerned the idiots who perpetrated this are not nor should never be Cules

    2. Completely agree with Jim. (There’s always a bunch of extremists trying to hijack a certain platform)

      Madrid might be a very, very much hated football-team we must give them the necessary respect and throwing stones at their bus doesn’t quite define the meaning of the word ‘RESPECT’.

    3. Its nice to see u all condemning the stone throwing action… i am pleasantly surprised… cheers!

  17. I think I will be non-functional most of the day and an absolute wreck during the game. Bought a wine from Catalunya for the game and a bottle of Estrella Damm for the hubby (maybe they will help).

    1. I had white wine from Catalunya in Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago..perhaps the best wine I’ve tasted in a long long time…

  18. From Barcastuff –

    Rosell (Barcelona president): “My friend Florentino, welcome to our city, our club, our country.”

    Nice one 🙂

  19. Also, rumors of Higuain being hurt or limping around the hotel..
    Reminds me of when Goran Pandev was “hurt” and Mou inserted Chivu late. He basically looked at Pep’s lineup, and adjusted his by saying a player was injured if I’m not mistaken. then dropped everyone back, etc. Lets see how this played out.

  20. One of the top tweets today is from @FCBarcelona. Mou has never won in the Camp Nou. Its on twitter’s main page, pretty neat.

  21. Will be Having the build up of BARCATV on all day until the match begins.

  22. willbe avery boring game.

    expecting a 1-1 or 0-1.

    if we score within first 20 mins,then it will be a different story.

    cant wait





  24. Is there a LiveBlog prognosis? Did someone volunteer that I don’t know about? Just checking. I’m at work, trying to keep food down. The anxiety is killing me. Absolutely killing me.

    Higuain is out for them, which will force MouMou to change tactics a bit.

  25. Tomorrow, I prefer to read posts praising Barcelona players than Mou. This is how it is in football journalism: If Barca win, its the players quality. if RM win, its MouMou.

  26. Just visited the EE offside and well it coverage of El Classico is …limited . Their “key to winning” is hoping Casillas has a good day, and stopping Xavi and Messi. Not even close of the quality we have here. 😀

    1. Even I as a Barcelona supporter find that kind of a lame thing for you to say. A couple of posts with Barcelona and Madrid supporters points of view are always interesting to read. But if FEE FI FO FUM
      I smell the blood of a Portuguese bum floats you’re boat, then rock on I guess.

  27. higuain being out is a shrewd way of mou taking him out and replacing him with a defender like lass to make a 3 man midfield. he uses the “injury” excuse so it doesnt look like he is playing for the draw and being a coward, but most of us thought he would take out an attacker anyway probably oezil though.

    he is playing for the draw, i expect a 0-0 sadly, although if we score, then real have to chase the game, then we could see a high score line. if real score first, expect them to sit back for the entire game and foul us.

    1. he did the same thing with Pandev last season right?
      Pandev was ‘injured’ and replaced with Chive

      Lets see if he has the stones to replace Higuain with Benzema who is a natural replacement.

  28. this reminds me that i need to do my work now instead of waiting til i wake up. when i wake up i will be checking scores. then i would have nothing prepared for class


    ^ I didn’t have the channel before.

    1. Anything!
      BTW, I recommend that start the LB about 10-15 mins because they’re probably gonna be BUCKETLOADS of people andapproving them isn’t easy especially if this is your 1st LB hosting!

      Good luck!

    2. Just click the link, Kari, and it will open the mail browser of your choosing, or just cut/paste into whatever you choose. And Isaiah, like a hungover, eyeglassed genie, will be at your service.

    3. No worries, I got it! I’ll post some ground rules below and then again when the LiveBlog post comes up.

  30. Greetings from Providence, RI! Can’t a remember a time I was more excited for a match, great to see that excitement is being shared across the world. Barca 3-1, goals by Messi, Villa, Pedro.


      AS YOU CAN SEE, I’M SO EXCITED I’M WRITING IN ALL CAPS ON, which can get incredibly annoying, so I’ll stop now.

      I say we win and Messi, Bojan, Villa, Pedro!, Xavi, Iniesta, Busi, Abidal, Pique, Puyol, Yaya , Alves will all score. And Pep from the touchline but it will be disallowed (VILLARATO!)

      All in all, a, err, 11-0 win. Yesh.

  31. Great great Article, but sadly for Barca Los Madrilenos will be far too strong. Barca will not be able to cope with the attacking power of Los Madrilenos.

    Cristiano ‘the Bull el Torrerino’ Ronaldo will Charge and boss the Midfiled to put Messi in his place.

    Mezut ‘the Eagle Owl’ Oezil will swoop down to tear pieces out of Pique and Puyol.

    Gonzalo ‘the Serpent’ Higuain will sink his fangs into Victor Valdez if playing.

    Karim ‘the Puma’ Benzema will claw away Xavi and Iniesta.

    Sami ‘the Mountain Lion’ Khedira will swat away Alves

    Iker ‘the Rock’ Casillas will stand like a Rock.

    Madrid 4 – Barca 1.

    1. aww he really does look like an owl!

      (and I do mean that in the nicest way possible… :-P)

      and did you know that bulls repeatedly eat their own vomit? interesting, no?

    2. That is quite hilarious crap…Hope Casillas doesnt stand like a rock and is more flexible than that..:P…And the Puma and the mountain lion are one and the same, right?..I would be happy with a 1-1..:)

  32. I can’t function. I get (alternately) goosebumps, queasiness, want to scream/cry/run around the room. Not sure why this Clasic is a bit more intense than the others, but it is for me. Don’t know about anyone else.

  33. From barcastuff
    Referee Iturralde is a heavy metal fan and will probably arrive at the Camp Nou listening to Metallica


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