FC Barcelona v. Malaga Full Frontal

The holy trinity

Sunday, 3:00 pm EST – 9:00 pm Barcelona Time, GolTV, GolTV HD

Preview time! Malaga travels to the slipperiest pitch in Europe to face the unstoppable (read: not actually unstoppable) buzzsaw that is the FC Barcelona multi-headed hydra, with Valdes claws, and Pique haunches. In short, it’s mean, probably has bad facial hair, but it’s a damn good passer. As you should be aware, the boys come into this tie off 4-0 and 5-0 victories and is working on a 27-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, stretching all the way back to the times when Jesus rode dinosaurs, er, the September loss to Hercules. I am told by the internet that this ties an FC Barcelona record, I don’t know how reliable that info is, but come on, the tubes never lie right? This match also represents the midway point of the La Liga season. In other words, it’s the most important game ever.

Currently, Malaga sits 17th in the table, 4 points clear of the relegation zone, but they have by no means been anywhere near convincing during the 2010-11 campaign. It does not appear that they have a huge problem scoring goals, as they have only been shutout 5 times during the entire year. The problem is that they hemorrhage goals like Pique hemorrhages dolla dolla bills at the club. Which is to say, they get scored on a lot. They have given up at least 3 goals 8 times this year. Combine that with the most recent offensive outbursts and the fact that only a highly resolute Bilbao side was able to hold us off for a time, I’m thinking this one might get ugly.

But enough of this ‘tactical” analysis, the reason we all look forward to the Malaga game is to see how many times Welington will hack Messi down. The very mention of the defenseman’s name causes Isaiah such fits of rage you’d think he was planning a wedding of some kind. Welington is going to hack and Malaga is going to sit back and dare us to score. Judging from the way our shots have been falling recently, that may be a poor dare on their part. Remember in the Betis game that the score could have been 4-0 at the half except for some excellent glove work by the keeper. Then again, Betis also looked like a team playing to win, which Malaga has not for the most part. Another fun little tidbit here regards the rumors swirling that Gabby Milito will be on his way out at the end of the season, and is possibly headed to Malaga. Perhaps he’s in line for a fitting during the halftime team talks?

Really though, the fact that you’re reading this preview means you don’t really want to know what the actual outcome will be, since I have a horrible streak of not getting anywhere close on the final score prediction. If I say that we will dominate, you can guarantee we give up an early goal and have to fight back for two late ones. Close game? Sure, why not? We’ll win 5-0 with Milito scoring all five. That being said, I can no more offer solid predictions than I can say that “Avatar” was a good film. I can’t, it wasn’t. So instead, I offer some midseason awards.

The Pedro Whirling Dervish Biggest Surprise Award
Javier Mascherano. I have always been a big fan, and I was one who was very excited to see him signed, but he has surpassed even my dreams. In defense he’s fit in well to back up Busquets, and he already had a wordless bond with the MESSIah, but he’s slotted in perfectly when needed. His passing has either improved markedly, or was just completely under utilized at Liverpool, I’m going with the latter. Wonderful sign, just wonderful.

The Busquets I’m Wonderful But Fans Don’t Appreciate How Well I Play Award
David Villa. It goes like this, after every game, I look through Twitter or the Liveblog and the same comments pop up everywhere: “Villa didn’t do anything” “Villa missed shots” “Villa missed his chances” Villa was offside”, etc. ad nauseum. Apparently forgetting all the good he does with solid movement and spacing. Anyway, Villa took a little while to get going this year, but has heretofore been a wonderful addition. Never one to truly hold the ball, and always one to be offside on many occasions, Villa has lately come on strong and has scored 14 goals (and 7 assists) in all competitions this season, meaning he’s 3rd on the team. He’s learned the system, he’s a team player, and he doesn’t bitch when he doesn’t get the ball like some forward we used to have (queue up certain commenters creaming themselves thinking of Ibrahimovic, who, incidentally, only has 13 goals this year).

The Xavi Hernandez Most Valuable Player Award
MESSIah. Usually Xavi is the MVP because he keeps everything moving correctly, but his earlier injuries and summer World Cup meant that his production suffered early in the year, though it was no fault of his own. So the weight fell on the narrow shoulders of little Lionel, and he has performed commendably. His 31 goals in all competitions are tied for tops right now across Europe with C. Ronaldo and his 12 assists in the League (15 overall) lead it by a wide margin. He’s somehow improved in every facet of his game, getting better at spot kicks, passing out of trouble, and passing off to teammates on the break. Godlike.

The Iniestazo Most Important Moment of the Season
Xavi’s 10th Minute Goal Against Real Madrid. Madrid had improved, no doubt. They were leading the League and looking good doing it. Many pundits were predicting a loss or tie for Barça, but the Blaugrana dominated early on, and once Xavi scored, never looked back. It was the beginning of one of the biggest wins in the Clasico ever, and it has set the tone up to now.

Predicted Lineup: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Mascherano, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, Messi, Afellay. Yes, Ibi gets his first start to rest Villa, and hopefully he does well.

Game Prediction: 4-1. Goals by Iniesta, Messi (x 3).

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe

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142 Comments

    • Jnice
      January 15, 2011

      I hope my boy Quincy doesn’t play for Malaga. I have a feeling he can cause us problems.

      I think we will see our strongest 11 with maybe a couple of tweaks. I could see Pedro getting a rest and maybe one other regular.

  1. vicsoc
    January 15, 2011

    This could also be the last time that Gabriel Milito pulls on the blaugrana before a football match. I doubt he will play (can’t let him get injured before he transfers), but I wouldn’t mind seeing him get 5 minutes at the end of the game as a send off – with the requirement that the match is put to bed already of course.

  2. January 15, 2011

    GolTV doesn’t have this game listed as showing nor does ESPN3…anyone know if it is actually televised?

    • Luke
      January 15, 2011

      It’s listed on GolTVs website and on my Comcast box schedule.

      • January 15, 2011

        you’re right. i’m an idiot. today is saturday..not sunday..when the game is…way to go, jeff.

      • Jnice
        January 15, 2011

        Edu Oriol is terrible. In that Barça training I watched, he was the worst forward on the field.

        • blitzen
          January 15, 2011

          I haven’t really seen enough of him to judge. Nolito looks good, though. They are sure going to miss him.

        • Ezequiel
          January 15, 2011

          Edu Oriol and Nolito always try to dribble their way thorugh, regardless of whats happening around them.

    • Ezequiel
      January 15, 2011

      Today you could clearly see the tactical difference between the first team and Barca B.

      While the first team uses a very fluent lineup, the B-team is more of a strict 4-3-3. Planas and (to lesser extent) Montoya are quite reserved compared to Alves and Abidal. They rarely advance into the final third of the pitch. Therefore there is no need for the defensive midfielder (Romeu or Ilie) to slot in between the CBs and he often joins the attacks.

      The front three also play a differnt role in the B-team. While Messi is usually acting centrally as a false 9, Soriano plays all the way up front while the wingers stay wide and just cut in if there is a goal scoring opportunity.

  3. Nav
    January 15, 2011

    Aw man, I thought this game was today 🙁

  4. blitzen
    January 15, 2011

    GOLLLLLLLL!!!!!

    They have looked so much better the last 10 minutes or so.

    • Jnice
      January 15, 2011

      My boy Sergio Roberto. Shame he got hurt after that.

      Rafa Alcantara comes on to replace him. Hope he does well.

      • blitzen
        January 15, 2011

        Yeah, that run he made was absolute class. Kid has a great future!

  5. K_legit
    January 15, 2011

    Barça B is smashing Salamanca to bits..pity its still 1-1

  6. ooga aga
    January 15, 2011

    “and he doesn’t bitch when he doesn’t get the ball like some forward we used to have”

    hmmm, i thought you were referring to Titi here….

  7. blitzen
    January 15, 2011

    Cani just scored an absolute scorcher for Villareal against Osasuna! 2-1 now.

    I’m watching three games at once (Barca B/Salamanca, Villareal/Osasuna, Arsenal/West Ham). It’s a little confusing.

  8. K_legit
    January 15, 2011

    RAfa scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • blitzen
        January 15, 2011

        Those Alcantara boys sure are talented!

      • jordi™
        January 15, 2011

        Now a great reverse ball by him for 3-1 B)

  9. K_legit
    January 15, 2011

    That was a flowing typical tiki-taka move

  10. blitzen
    January 15, 2011

    And Capdevila scores for Villareal! (I love him 😀 )

    Today is a good day!

    • Jnice
      January 15, 2011

      Blitzen and I talked about that interview earlier this week. I posted the original El Pais link, too.

      • January 15, 2011

        Yep. Sounds like somebody should be paying more attention at home! 😀

  11. Jnice
    January 15, 2011

    Rafa with a great pass and Soriano finishes (eventually). Rafa’s days with Juvenil A are numbered.

    • blitzen
      January 15, 2011

      From Thiago’s twitter:

      Rafinhaaaaaaaa eu te amooo! Felicidades hermanoooo… Gran partido, que maravilloso inicio

        • blitzen
          January 15, 2011

          I don’t actually have twitter, I just check out barcastuff and a few others.

  12. K_legit
    January 15, 2011

    Gollllllllllllll 1-3
    Soriano

    Shoots rebound off keeper to feet..shoots again Goal!

  13. jordi™
    January 15, 2011

    3-2 🙁 , hope they dont throw away the points again 🙁

  14. blitzen
    January 15, 2011

    JDS off. Could they not have given the boy a shirt that actually fits him? he looks about 12 in that!

  15. blitzen
    January 15, 2011

    That last conceded goal notwithstanding, Barca B have looked better today than they have in ages.

  16. Louis
    January 15, 2011

    Watching the Arsenal game on FSC. Just heard them say “Arsenal the best in the land at one-twos.”

    I’ll assume they are only talking about England, instead of them being flat out ignorant.

    • soccermomof4
      January 15, 2011

      Saw most of the Arsenal game but fell asleep at the end (EPL games do that to me). Glad my #2 team won but my oh my is our offense ever gonna have a field day against them. The announcers were complimenting Barca earlier during the Arsenal game, though. Time to watch my Ravens for hopefully not the last time this year. Peace, y’all!

  17. ooga aga
    January 15, 2011

    from the official site: 9 of malaga’s 23 goals this year have come off set plays. (~40%)

  18. blitzen
    January 15, 2011

    From the official site:

    His players have been coming out and demanding he stays on and Pep quipped: “they’d better not say anything else! Let them suck up to to me -that’s what they should do!”

    Tee hee. 😀

    • blitzen
      January 15, 2011

      Don’t miss the bit at the end with Abi! He is too cool.

  19. Auld Super
    January 15, 2011

    I got it to work eventually, I don’t know if it was me or the password but I’ll just say we were both wrong and move on. Tomorrow I can only see another win by a large margin, hopefully Leo will get a few and keep the dreaded ronaldo at bay. Beckenbauer came out stating the obvious yesterday, though it’s always nice to hear it recognized that mourinho ” is uneducated and rude “. As for Villa he would and did score goals anywhere so next year when he really settles in there will be a deluge of goals from him it’s safe to say, he’s class.

    • ooga aga
      January 15, 2011

      FWIW, here is the Figueroa strike that the announcer mentions in the narrative of the cani goal:
      *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85VThkTEWhA&feature=related

  20. ooga aga
    January 15, 2011

    has anyone seen Borussia Dortmund play this year? they are lighting up the bundesliga.

    • Jnice
      January 15, 2011

      Yeah, I watched their match yesterday. I like them.

      • ooga aga
        January 15, 2011

        i havent seen em, i looked at their roster and i dont recognize any of their players. looks like they score many and concede few.

        • Humphrey Bogart
          January 15, 2011

          Yeah, but strangely Sevilla of all teams put them out of the Europa League. Gives some perspective to the claim that La Liga is just like the scottish league and the Bundesliga so much better.

          • ooga aga
            January 15, 2011

            didnt know that about sevilla. thanks.

          • Jnice
            January 15, 2011

            Still, if you watched those Europa league matches, I would say Sevilla were more than fortunate to get anything out of ’em, especially the first time they played.

            Dortmund were really unlucky not to get out of the group. They were the second best team behind PSG.

  21. Jnice
    January 15, 2011

    Sorry about your Ravens, SoMom. 🙁

    Don’t know how they managed to throw that one away.

    • soccermomof4
      January 15, 2011

      Thanks Jnice (sobs), Usually we don’t throw away games until the 4th quarter. We certainly shot ourselves in the foot multiple times.

      I’ve gotta say though, that I am ssssssssssssssssssssooooooooooooo impatient with American football now. 5 minutes of nothing/commercials for every 1 minute of action!

      • Jnice
        January 15, 2011

        Yeah, I really don’t watch games anymore because of the commercials and what not. So freaking annoying.

        • January 15, 2011

          The Ravens didn’t lose. They gave it away. Sorry SoMom4, but they did. That game should have been done and dusted, then Boldin drops the TD pass in the end zone.

          But I’m sure the Bears will give it away tomorrow, then that will be that. I watch NFL games by letting them get an hour or so ahead, then firing up the DVR to cut all commercials, delays and other time-wasting. Then an hour-long NFL game actually takes about an hour to watch.

          • soccermomof4
            January 15, 2011

            I know they did. They’ve been erratic all season. A really great game from my futbol team tomorrow can erase most of the sorrow my football team caused!!!!

      • blitzen
        January 15, 2011

        No kidding SoMa4! I watched an NFL game last weekend and I’m sure it took about 3 hours to broadcast a game of 4 15-minute quarters. Gah!

  22. soccermomof4
    January 15, 2011

    Well Ravens lost—Life sucks, then you die!
    Congrats @ Lev

    My prediction: 6-0 Messi (4), Villa, Iniesta and why not, Malaga is no Real Betis!(I can’t wait to see Betis play when they are promoted)

    • Jnice
      January 15, 2011

      I hope it’s 6-0. I have a feeling it won’t be a rout. Or maybe I just say that to trick myself. Who knows? 🙂

  23. January 15, 2011

    The latest comments from Guardiola on Milito:

    However, Guardiola now says that he is not inclined to allow the 30-year-old to leave Camp Nou and has been quoted by Goal.com Spain as saying, “For now, I say no (Milito will not leave). I have a squad in which there is Gabi, who is an important player even when he is not playing.

    “I will never forget how he has behaved throughout this time and if he decides to leave because he wants to play more, then I will help as much as I can and I’ll wish him the best.”

    Translation: He still might leave, but let’s hope these public bon-bons help matters.

  24. January 15, 2011

    Oh, and brace yourselves: The Dudgeon Express has its engines on full, as Rosell, when asked by journalists if we would be signing Fabregas in the summer, said “Ask me in June.”

    Clearly, this means that we will bid for him. But of course Arsenal fans are saying it means that we’re tapping him up, etc, etc, we’re skint, arrogant, etc, etc, etc.

    Sighhhhh will it ever end? I look at our club and Barca B, and I just don’t see any reason to spend 50m for Fabregas. Am I crazy?

    • soccermomof4
      January 15, 2011

      You’re not crazy. We don’t need him now, and I’m not just saying it because my #2 team is Arsenal. He is too expensive and talented to sit on the bench where he most certainly would and SHOULD be on our team. 2-3 years from now yes, but not now. And OMgoodness if the twitter silliness becomes the lockeroom silliness!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • majatt
      January 15, 2011

      If he was 20M he’d be too expensive. I think Afellay is the model for transfers, he signed a contract that didn’t take him past his prime; played it out and then went cheap.

      Fab signed the papers, Barca shouldn’t have to pay to ‘fix’ his decision.

      Generally though, I think players need to sign shorter contracts if they aren’t crazy about the club and cut these ridiculous transfer fees.

    • blitzen
      January 15, 2011

      You probably are crazy, but what does that have to do with anything? 😛

      Face it. Cesc is coming. Maybe not this summer, maybe even not next. But eventually, and for the rest of his life.

      We will probably overpay for him, but he will be good for Barca. Pep wants him. Rosell wants him. Xavi wants him. That’s good enough for me.

      • Jim
        January 16, 2011

        I get the feeling it will be this summer unless Arsenal win the EPL which isn’t impossible. If they do, he has a big decision about moving and spending a lot of time on the bench, at least initially, or staying and building on it. You get the feeling that they are still only one or two purchases away from a trophy winning team.

        We will probably pay far too much for him because we have made it so clear we want him – not the best approach – although I would bite your hand off it it were £20m. After Xavi goes, which hopefully will be another three or four seasons, the feel of our midfield will change anyway (with Iniesta in charge) and Fabregas can offer just about everything we need apart from pace and neither of our current twins has much of that anyway. In addition to his passing and goalscoring skills there is a steel about him which he has picked up playing in England. It would be better for him in spain injury wise imo.

        I don’t understand those who say he wouldn’t add anything – he is the top midfielder in the EPL to my mind – but at anything over £35m I’d have to stop and think twice. I think Affelay’s performances in the second half may also have a bearing on our priorities for the summer.

  25. barca96
    January 15, 2011

    Thanks Luke. Love the awards.
    They’re spot-on!!

    Anyone know the status on Wellington? I hope he’s suspended or injured.
    DOn’t want that guy to get near Messi.
    I pee in my pants when Messi tries to dribble Wellington.

  26. January 16, 2011

    First, the Gabi Milito news. @barcastuff says that according to Spanish sources he will be meeting with the club early this week to end his contract. The club doesn’t want to loan him, if he is going to go as those can get messy, particularly for a player (no offense to Gabi) who is on his last legs.

    –Weligton is in full effect, still making friends everywhere he goes. No. 3 on your scorecards and a coal-black chamber in your hearts. He’s healthy, apparently fully recovered from the ankle injury that put paid to his 2010 season. So Messi and the boys should tread lightly.

    This is the incident that everyone remembers, when he stomped on Messi’s ankle:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEgmH_rP5yM

    It’s also worth noting that Malaga have a number of complexities in that squad, not least of which is their newly transferred keeper, Sergio “how far the mighty hath fallen” Asenjo. Remember when people were clamoring for us to replace Valdes with him? Well he’s playing for Malaga now, who are just dangling above the drop zone.

    Martin DiMichelis, another new arrival, isn’t shy about getting stuck in either, in case people are thinking that Weligton will be the only one vexing our attackers tomorrow. And for creativity, they have Duda, the mid who is still capable of pulling some rabbits out of his hat. And don’t forget Julio Baptista, who scored the goal of his life for EE at our house (Dec. ’07) is also eligible to play this week, now that his transfer from Roma has been finalized:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89dtMSjqBSg

    This is either going to be a walkover, or a brutal, tense encounter. Nothing in the middle. Curiously, the ref is Jose Luiz Gonzalez, who is rather card-happy, judging from his record. In his last match on 2 January, Valencia v Espanyol, he blew for 31 fouls, 5 yellows and a red. This could augur well for us, as he doesn’t seem to fancy rough play.

    They drew 1-1 against Bilbao last week, thanks to a late equalizer for Bilbao, so I wouldn’t underestimate Malaga. Their recent transfers have made them a very different squad, one that I’m not looking forward to facing, frankly.

  27. K_legit
    January 16, 2011

    Borussia Dortmund’s first team has an average age of 23 or something and they absolutely blitzed Leuverkeusen

    • outerspacedout
      January 16, 2011

      Dortmund are a great side. If they can keep their players I think they could pose a genuine threat in the CL next season.

      Their central defensive pairing of Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels is very good. Subotic is Serbian and seems to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Vidic and Ivanovic. Hummels was the best defender in the Bundesliga last season and I don’t know why he wasn’t selected for the Germany NT, maybe cos he was uncapped and inexperienced. Both are very young at about 22 or 21. On the left, Marcel Schmelzer, 22, has been surprisingly good and is tipped to be Germany’s new left-back (Lahm plays on the right for Germany).

      In midfield Sven Bender is pretty good, but Nuri Sahin has been brilliant in a Schweinsteiger-ish role this season as a playmaker at the base of the midfield with some defensive but largely dictating and attacking responsibilities. Sahin is 22 and Bender is 21 or 22.

      Then they play with three attacking midfielders supporting a lone forward. From the three, Shinji Kagawa who plays in the centre of the trio is the starter and the other two are rotated. Kagawa is 21, Japanese, and probably the deadliest player in the Bundesliga this season so far. He’s been scoring, assisting, and creating. Then there is Mario Goetze, 18, who is a fantastic playmaker and mature for his age, and Kevin Groskreutz I think the name is who is 22. Then there is a Polish guy with an unpronouncable name who is also pretty good and often starts in place of Goetze and is a bit older I think 24.

      Up front they have Barrios who is a goal machine and 25 or 26, backed up by Lewandowski who is I think 21 and also pretty good.

      They play nice and are really young so can only get better.

      • outerspacedout
        January 16, 2011

        And Sevilla were extremely lucky against Borussia in the Europa League

  28. amal
    January 16, 2011

    Hmmm .. this post is only to check on my gravtar thing

    • Helge
      January 16, 2011

      What’s the being next to the girl?

      Congratulations for winning the Bundesliga, btw 😉

      • outerspacedout
        January 16, 2011

        I thought those were headphones :S

  29. amal
    January 16, 2011

    Oh and thanks to Jnice for saying that Sevilla got luck to qualify for round 16 of Europa league over Dortmund ..

    You guys can see am HUGE Schwatz-Gelb fan , which ” Black and Yellow” .

  30. amal
    January 16, 2011

    And by the way I’m not over praising nobody just because am Dortmund fan, but if you guys really wanna see the next big thing in midfield of ” Xavi like “, you really need to see this kid Nuri sahin .. he’s such a brain.

    • Jnice
      January 16, 2011

      Cool avatar. And yeah, I really like Sahin. Apparently Hiddink wants to build the Turkish NT around him. Not a bad idea.

  31. Extreme barca fan
    January 16, 2011

    Good review luke, i totally agree with the awards
    I expect a tense match, also i think malaga will cause us some problems, they added a lot of players and pellegrini to me is the 2nd best coach in spain.
    As for borrussia dortmund i’ve seen them play a few times this season they are a good attcking side, very excititng to watch, i hope next year we play them in the champions league
    @ amal: very nice avatar

  32. Helge
    January 16, 2011

    Didn’t Malaga sign approximately 100 of new players in the winter transfer period?
    And some good were among them, for instance Julio “la Bestia” Baptista. Guess it won’t be a walk in the park today, Malaga has some good new players, they are coached by one of the best coaches in the world who knows how to take sth. away from the Camp Nou and they actually already made life hard for us on several occasions in the past.
    So I’ll go for a win with +2 goals.

    • outerspacedout
      January 16, 2011

      There really is a Sidi Yaya Keita who is 25 and is owned by Lens but is on loan to Xerez according to Wikipedia:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidi_Yaya_Keita

      But the picture is just awful, goes to show how little some of the English sports journalists know about continental football if they can’t recognize a player from even a massive European club (like Real, Barca, Milan, Juve, Bayern, etc) at least by the name being similar. The same journalists that go on about La Liga sucking and so on, probably.

      • Para
        January 16, 2011

        Okay, so perhaps not quite as horrendous as I thought! (Evidently I should have done my research first–good thing I’m not a journalist).

  33. K_legit
    January 16, 2011

    To continue on the Dortmund point:
    Having watched their game against Leuverkeusen I was extremely impressed by Goetze..This kid is for the future.
    Also, I have always had a soft corner for teams that are extremely attacking in their play and Dortmund are exactly that team.
    Plus, Mats Hummels..I bought him in FIFA 09(yes 09 ie 2 years ago) and he has been awesome..I should be a scout..although I was kinda hoping Anthony Annan would have had a more sparkling career..he again has been incredible for me in FIFA 09

    • Jnice
      January 16, 2011

      Apparently Sevilla are seriously interested in Annan. Marseille too. He should have moved by now, he HAS to move by no later than this coming summer.

      I don’t know whether teams think he’s too small or whatever, but he is a great player. Pitbull for Ghana.

  34. vicsoc
    January 16, 2011

    Am I the only one who is seeing reports that Malaga wants to sign Jeffren? And for 4 million too! My personal stance is that not every out of La Masia can make ib in the team, and Jeffren is unfortunately one of those who fits the bill.

    The kid has talent, but also a penchance for playing faster than his legs can move (orphan he can think, I haven’t decided which yet). He also looks like a square peg in a round hole – he is a natural winger whose best abilities are to get endline and cross, something our forwards just don’t do that often in Pep’s system. I believe it was Euler who said his best chance in our system was at right back, but for those of us who have seen him play there we know that isn’t going to work out.

    In short, I’d sell him.

    • Jnice
      January 16, 2011

      outerspacedout mentioned it.

      I’d sell him too.

      • vicsoc
        January 16, 2011

        I noticed that after I posted, whoops. I need to read ALL or the posts before I comment.

    • outerspacedout
      January 16, 2011

      The best one for me was that player who mentioned in an interview about the Clasico that Preciado should report Mourinho to the football authorities for laying down for Barca. Hahahahaha.

  35. K_legit
    January 16, 2011

    So goal. com says that we’re scouting alexis sanchez..who again?

  36. y2k156
    January 16, 2011

    Just watched Tottenham v ManU and it was mildly interesting game.Not a lot of finesse on show there though. Lots of pace and aggression. Tottenham kept on trying to ping balls in the box. Vidic was quite immense though. And Bale was meh. He can run and can cross quite ok. But otherwise, not too impressive.

    Two more to go!

  37. OSBAG
    January 16, 2011

    I declare tonight, we thrash Oil Money

  38. Extreme barca fan
    January 16, 2011

    Its LNG money not oil money, lol

    • OSBAG
      January 16, 2011

      Sounds the same. Full first squad line up am predicting nothing less than 5 goals here

    • OSBAG
      January 16, 2011

      Seems today is the day. Lets just hope and pray

  39. Ryan
    January 16, 2011

    Argh, I really should quit while I’m ahead. It was fun seeing Almeria frustrate EE in the first half, but watching Ronaldo inevitably score another few goals won’t be as fun.

    • outerspacedout
      January 16, 2011

      Just wrote something along the same lines. Jinx. And yes I know that will inevitably happen.

    • Ryan
      January 16, 2011

      But at least this is against the team we scored 8 goals, eh?

      • outerspacedout
        January 16, 2011

        Don’t say that! Then they might go out and score nine in the second half, Ronaldo getting five penalties and a tap-in to pull clear in the Pichichi race, or something. Expressing any hope or positivity about a Real Madrid game always seems to somehow karmically bring them wallops of good fortune.

  40. outerspacedout
    January 16, 2011

    Real Madrid 0-0 at half time. I shouldn’t be getting my hopes up to only see them crash down like every other one of the fifty other times I hope for them to drop points so we can increase our lead, should I?

    • MoSSi
      January 16, 2011

      Naaah, the’re gonna win.. I see a late goal, as long as crybaby doesn’t score and Messi catches up for pichichi.

  41. blitzen
    January 16, 2011

    Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Pique Puyol Abidal – Xavi Busquets Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa

    I’m surprised. I thought either Villa or Pedro might sit this one out. I hope Keita gets some minutes, he needs another goal for his birthday!

    • Extreme barca fan
      January 16, 2011

      That’s our best lineup, me likeeeeeeee

  42. blitzen
    January 16, 2011

    From barcastuff:

    Milito rejects all offers for a transfer. He has in the end decided to stay at Barcelona until the end of the season.

    I don’t know if this is confirmed, though.

  43. blitzen
    January 16, 2011

    GOLLLL!!!!!! Almeria!!!!!!

    😀 😀 😀

    Not getting my hopes up, but the look on Casillas’ face was priceless!

    • mardia
      January 16, 2011

      The look on EVERYONE’S faces was priceless! I’m not gonna get my hopes up, but this game is delightful so far.

  44. outerspacedout
    January 16, 2011

    Almeria just scored!

    Won’t last. Please stay down, hopes.

  45. outerspacedout
    January 16, 2011

    Since Malaga are going for the value-for-money additions route with Pellegrini (smartest thing the Sheikh could have done was appointing him imo, btw) with Baptista, Asenjo, Camacho, Maresca, Demichelis etc they should take Giovanni dos Santos off Tottenham’s hands for cheap.

  46. blitzen
    January 16, 2011

    Are we going to have a LiveBlog today? vicsoc?

    I know Kxevin is watching his Bears.

    • Nav
      January 16, 2011

      I hope so — no other way I can follow the game 🙁

  47. outerspacedout
    January 16, 2011

    If only Almeria can hold out for fifteen more minutes!

    They won’t though *fingers crossed to them doing so in spite of my pessimism. or should I say crescented, whatever*

    • outerspacedout
      January 16, 2011

      F**k of COURSE I KNEW I shouldn’t have said anything. The exact MOMENT I write that. WTF

  48. jordi™
    January 16, 2011

    I just cant see EE beating us unless they get a hatfull of penalties.Then again, thats not a far-fetched scenario…

  49. Kari
    January 16, 2011

    –You people are such masochists. Don’t know you why you bother, sayeth the resident jinx.

    –I can run the liveblog if the admin aren’t ready

    • vicsoc
      January 16, 2011

      You’re the best, but I just set it up, so come on over to the new post

  50. Kari
    January 16, 2011

    And EE are going to get murdered by us. Their “remontadas” are just a shield to hide their inadequacy.

  51. Extreme barca fan
    January 16, 2011

    Kari for the live-blog, i love you

  52. outerspacedout
    January 16, 2011

    My Soccernet Gamecast for the Real game has been on ‘game delayed due to Ulloa injury’ for a long time, was it serious?

  53. jordi™
    January 16, 2011

    HALA MADRID lol

    ABout F’n time they dropped points

    *wipes sweaty palms*

  54. outerspacedout
    January 16, 2011

    YES! Now let’s hope we get our end of the bargain done.

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