Sevilla – Barcelona Preview: Expect Fireworks

I would trade the entire week of vacation I have coming up to be a fly on the wall during the pre-match Pep talk tomorrow. Why, you ask? I have a feeling that Pep’s speech will be a speech that could touch the Grinch’s heart, a speech that could wake the dead, a speech like the infamous Braveheart speech, a speech that says: “We are going to beat Sevilla as if they were ROCKS BEING SMITTEN BY THOR’S HAMMER”โ€ฆ or something like that.

I would say Messi holds it at the moment...

Sevilla has been a bit of an enigma for Barcelona over the last couple of years. Since Guardiola has taken over we have played them nine times, winning seven times and losing twice. Barcelona has an amazing combined 24 goals over those nine games, while Sevilla only has 7. Yet last year they proved a difficult opponent – knocking us out of the Copa del Rey and almost putting our Liga title in jeopardy as they almost took points from us at the end of the season. This means that although we have a great recent record against them, when they manage to align the stars and play their best they can be a very difficult team. Only one of the last nine matches between the teams has had less than 3 goals, so expect the score tomorrow to look like the score of a curling match.

Sevilla has been foundering this year; they are currently in 8th place and if they don’t get themselves together soon they won’t be playing in Europe next season. Barcelona on the other handโ€ฆ are not foundering. The biggest potential issue our team faces at the moment is a loss of concentration. It is easy enough to get distracted at the highest level – just ask Pique, who forgot he was playing football and instead tried out one of his new dance moves in his last match.

Pique shows off his new moves against Zaragoza

Seriously though, our team is in a very unique and somewhat perilous situation. It seems that everyone who is even remotely related to football and has a medium to have their voice heard wants to comment on this team. You have a group calling the team cheats in one corner while in another corner people debate whether this is the best team ever; and these are just the fans. Lately Rio Ferdinand has come out praising the team’s performance against Arsenal, Christian Eriksen has mentioned he would love to play for Barcelona, and Mourinho has said… well something I’m sure! It is absolutely essential at that the team is able to ignore all this, and that’s why Pep needs to remind them that the history books will write themselves and the only thing that is important right now is the next win.

Speaking of winning, we will still be without our perennial winner, El Capitano Carles Puyol. I would feel a whole lot more comfortable with him in the squad list for tomorrow, as he has the ability to spur his team-mates to victory, much like William Wallace himself.

William Wallace
See the resemblance?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The squad list does include: Valdes, Pinto, Alves, Adriano, Pique, Milito, Abidal, Maxwell, Busquets, Mascherano, Xavi, Keita, Iniesta, Afellay, Pedro, Messi, Villa, Bojan, and Jeffren. Expect Jeffren to be watching from the stands. The most interesting aspect of the lineup will be whether Maxwell or Adriano starts at left back. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Adriano gets the nod – playing Adriano ahead of Maxwell against Arsenal when the tie was in the balance says a lot about how Pep views the two players. Other than that, expect the usual smash-and-destroy-anything-that-gets-in-our-way lineup.

I don’t have much more to say about this one. Expect a high scoring match – I have a feeling that if we score early the wheels will start to fall off for Sevilla. Vicsoc prediction: 4-0 – Messi channels the power of Thor’s hammer to score a brace and add an assist.

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126 Comments

  1. Miguel
    March 12, 2011

    we’ve played them nine times?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpqSTthrDJM&feature=player_embedded
    (i lifted this from total barca)

    remember this dani goal vs his old team in the copa, i think?
    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X9LbpXVQ9o

    manzano’s new signings rakitic & medel/nedel(whatever) have never faced barca so i’m interested to see how they cope with the frustration that barca’s play brings. manzano said that if we win against them tomorrow the title race is over. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • vicsoc
      March 12, 2011

      5 times in the league
      2 times in the CdR
      2 times in the Spanish Super Cup

    • vicsoc
      March 12, 2011

      Oh my lord I can actually fix that!

      • Miguel
        March 12, 2011

        you’re the man, vicsoc. you running the liveblog again tomorrow? i’m looking at you, kari.

        • March 12, 2011

          Did you know it’s daylight savings, Miguel? I’m losing an hour of sleep.

          No-one f*cks with my sleep.

          Suffice to say, I’ll be pissed off tomorrow, even though I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be mad on principal.

          Daylight savings is aite in the winter though.

          (I need to move to Saskatchewan. And I think vicsoc’s running it.)

          • Miguel
            March 12, 2011

            wait, this isn’t the one where i get to drink an extra hour at the bar?

            noooo!!

          • blitzen
            March 12, 2011

            As a Saskatchewanian, I recommend it. Unless you dislike flat. Then you might not enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • vicsoc
            March 12, 2011

            The game is at 4 EST – how is that going to mess with your sleep?

            on topic – I will be running the liveblog. Expect terrible Norse god references.

          • March 12, 2011

            Because it messes me up. When I get up tomorrow, I’d have been sleeping longer than I actually was. That annoys me. And it also feels like I’ve missed something.

            Not to mention have to adapt to this time change, change my clock(s)…Bleh. What a pain. If DLS didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have this problem.

  2. hammeronmessi
    March 12, 2011

    hmmmmm,

    my hammer is mentioned in the post.

    final score sevilla 1 barcelona 2

  3. blitzen
    March 12, 2011

    Not to worry, we have paid off all the refs and have a special relationship with Sevilla, so I expect a manita at the very least. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. hammeronmessi
    March 12, 2011

    but we are in financial crisis.i wonder if we have enough gold coins in our sack to pay off this ref.after to win 24games we must have spent a fortune

  5. hammeronmessi
    March 12, 2011

    whats saskatchewanian?is it like the yeti in the himalayas?

    • blitzen
      March 12, 2011

      From the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. By two blocks. My high school was in Alberta.

      • barca96
        March 13, 2011

        Haha one of my best friends might move to Saskatoon.
        Such a funny names you guys have up there.
        I thought Australia/NZ were the only places with funny sounding names ๐Ÿ™‚

      • hammeronmessi
        March 13, 2011

        whoops.

        Been reading about mysteries which are still unsolved.

  6. hammeronmessi
    March 12, 2011

    @vicsoc,
    why terrible norse god reference?they are cool to me,especially loki who is like our waka waka

  7. barca96
    March 13, 2011

    Outerspace you’re back in Kuala Lumpur right?
    Do you play futsal? If you do, come and join me.
    I will be playing today. You’re free to come.
    If you accept an invitation, I will gladly put up my contact details.

  8. barca96
    March 13, 2011

    Miguel said this in the last post;
    “this was definitely in guardiolaโ€™s manifesto when he took over the club. he even has the team eating together before training. remember messi saying how hard it was for him to give up eating pasta being an argentinian?”

    I thought pasta was good for sports?

  9. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    @barca96,

    i introduced myself to u in a previous post.
    Its your turn

    • barca96
      March 13, 2011

      Apologies. I guess because your comment was too high up there that I forgot.
      Im from Malaysia but stayed in many places before hehe.
      Holland/Hong Kong/Singapore/Australia being the latest.
      Just came back from there in December ’10.

      • outerspacedout
        March 13, 2011

        You’ve been to so many places. Two questions, where are you from originally? I thought you were Dutch but travelled a lot, but then I guess you’re actually Malaysian. And how old are you, in university now?

  10. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    saw the poll in barcastuff

    cesc 39% bale 34%.

    Regarding cesc.he choose his options carefully and opted the gunners.at that time arsenal are on the up and we were no where near the level we are now.noting wrong in his choosing at that time.

    Correct me if i m wrong,in 08 he signed a massive 8 year contract with the gooners.at that time we were in a downward spiral.so after 4 years he still didnt feel for barca,and he saw himself at the emirates for the foreseeable future.otherwise he wouldnt sign a 8yr contract.

    Then came pep and the rest is history.from that time he was feeling the barca love.why?cause we are now the best and suddenly he discovered his barca dna.

    It seems to me that he is utilizing his friendship with puyi,pique.in fact i think he is tapping us and the catalan people still wants him with open arms.and at a huge cost.

    A terrific player and he will give us a new dimension with his surging runs and goals.he is certainly a 40m player but not to us.

    How A player with a matured head at the age of 16 can sign a 8 yr deal if he doesnt c himself at that club is beyond me?

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      Guardiola was Cesc’s childhood hero and idol. Pep is only renewing his contract year by year, which means he might leave anytime soon. Which means that he doesn’t have all the time in the world to wait before joining Barca to fulfil his dream.

      Also, when he signed that contract he would have probably anticipated, like most of us did, that Arsenal would become very successful soon, within a couple years or so. He wouldn’t have been able to predict that they would descend into whiny, blind-to-their-own-faults mediocrity that keeps on insisting the likes of Diaby and Denilson are good enough to win titles even with an 80 million profit and enough of a name to attract the talent that could facilitate titles. It must be annoying as heck knowing your team COULD win titles if certain people were not so stubborn, much more so than knowing your team is in a normal developmental stage and that what will happen will happen there’s nothing that could be done about it but wait.

      I don’t want him to come to Barcelona now for the amount of money that is being talked about, but I can understand his logic in signing a long and thus lucrative contract at a young age to stay at Arsenal, a club that seemed to be on the up, where even when the contract ended he would still be only 26 or 27 and young enough to move to his hometown club ostensibly after winning plenty of trophies in England, back at a time when Barcelona had neither great success nor Pep Guardiola.

  11. blaunero
    March 13, 2011

    Tough game tomorrow, and important too. With Real Madrid 4 points behind we simply must not take the foot off the pedal. It would be grand if we somehow managed to maintain a 7pt lead over Real by April.

  12. outerspacedout
    March 13, 2011

    As Miguel said. Pep had this manifesto when he applied to become head coach, which included increasing discipline, new training regimes, getting a new medical staff and physios, etc.

    Barca96: Yeah I’m in KL now, but I am really bad at football. Used to be legendarily bad in my class back when I went to school, actually. Where do you guys live btw, which part of KL?

  13. outerspacedout
    March 13, 2011

    Ps. Can anyone believe Benzema actually has 17 goals so far this season?

  14. outerspacedout
    March 13, 2011

    Someone had commented on a Soccernet comment thread:

    ‘Arsenal are the werewolves of the Premier League…’

    I was wondering what he meant, then I saw his next comment.

    ‘Avoiding silver AT ALL COSTS.’

    ๐Ÿ˜€ HAHAHAHAHA

    • barca96
      March 13, 2011

      Dude, I asked you a question just now.
      You wanna join me? Just come and have fun.
      It would be nice to play with a fellow Barca fan and what more with a fellow BFB reader.
      The other blogger who meets up here is Kxev and someone.
      Miguel, Jose or somebody. can’t remember his name.
      They meet in Chicago or something to watch matches.

      • outerspacedout
        March 13, 2011

        I answered up a couple comments above this one.

      • barca96
        March 13, 2011

        Oh you answered in a different post.

        Its ok man.
        Im playing with 30-45 age group.
        So you can imagine how they are.
        We jsut play for fun. Those guys are old so they play to keep in shape not for football per se.

        Im the youngest there. So if you come, you would be the freshest.
        Just come and try out. Trust me, you wont regret. Haha.
        You wont feel like you’re far behind them. I love them but trust me, anyone could join cos it’s so casual.

        It’s at Segambut. Near PWTC(where Maldivians love to live :p ).
        My no is +60126444018

        • outerspacedout
          March 13, 2011

          I live in Sentul, that’s a couple of LRT stops away from PWTC.

          • barca96
            March 13, 2011

            Wait a second. Sentul which is near Segambut, the futsal place. I was born in Jln Ipoh and spent the first few weeks in Segambut.

            It starts at 7pm. So if you’re down, try to take a cab from Sentul. Easier that way. It’s not far. If you take LRT, it would go all the way to KL and then come back to Segambut.
            You can call me for directions and Ill text you the directions for the cab driver.

            DOnt worry. The guys Im playing with are adults into their 40’s. So dont imagine some Malaysian youngsters gangster wannabees.

            Here’s the map.
            http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL413/8649857/18510332/297309531.jpg

            the name of the place is called Soccer XL.

          • outerspacedout
            March 13, 2011

            Haha I wasn’t worried about young gangster wannabes, that’s the dominant male demographic in the 13-25 age group back in my city in Maldives. I was more worried about nobody being anywhere near my age (my age being 18).

            My aunt and cousins are over today so I can’t go. I’ll probably go with a friend who lives in the same condo next week or sometime.

  15. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    @outerspacedout.

    Exactly,thats my point.now that his beloved gunners cant win anything,he suddenly felt the urge to coming home,cause his home wins a lot now a days.i m not gonna use the word cunning but pretty clever.

    Like i said he is a 40M player,but not to us though he has the barca dna.

  16. Eklavya
    March 13, 2011

    Do you guys think that if Arsenal fire Wenger, they should hire Rijkaard?

    As a coach who won the CL, why isn’t he coaching a top club?

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      Rijkaard hasn’t exactly had a lot of success recently. He got fired from Galatasaray. Also, right now I think Arsenal need someone who would be strict.

      Rijkaard was very much a nice-guy, even too much of a nice guy, somehow I don’t imagine him putting the likes of Diaby and Bendtner in their places, selling off the deadwood, and instilling in a ruthless drive and winning mentality. That wasn’t really his style.

      That said, Wenger isn’t gonna get fired. Not a chance. I do think that his long-term project will be a good one. It’s just that he should have the common sense to make the final changes to actually win something, which could be made without compromising the long-term structure and even aid it- for example see how much our youth program improved when Guardiola took over Barca B and did away with the age limit rule, buying older and more experienced players to add the slight bit of extra quality for us to be promoted from Tercera to eventually Segunda A so our youth could play at a higher level week-in week-out, face competition, learn off those guys, and so on. Wenger makes profits of 80 million or more, enough to spend on the extra bit of quality needed to win titles which would imbibe experience of winning and not flopping in his younger players, whip them into shape, and let them learn from some of the best.

      His long-term project, of establishing Arsenal as a financially solid club with a strong scouting system (van Persie, Fabregas, Nasri, etc) and a strong academy (Wilshere, Gibbs, etc) that is well-run and well-managed, looks set to be a success. But the other part of his job, winning stuff, he’s neglecting. Due to stubbornness, ego (its like he wants to say ‘ooh look I won with some obscure talent only and ONLY I noticed in the Norwegian second division!), and whatever else it is. And that’s jeopardizing Arsenal’s trophy hopes now and in the future, so even that well-managed and financially solid club with a good academy years down the line may be a well-run club that wins nothing because a winning tradition was not established from earlier and the star power and experience were not present, the little extra that doesn’t make the likes of United come up short, were missing.

      Also, they have absolutely crap physios.

  17. barca96
    March 13, 2011

    It was said that a staff watched the B team match from the stands.
    I really like that method. Just like how Wenger used to do in his early years at Arsenal. I wonder why not many clubs/coaches adopted the same method and why Wenger didn’t continue doing it.

    Why is pasta not good??

    • March 13, 2011

      It depends. The physios are into player-specific diets. If a player has a propensity for gaining weight, pasta and its “wrong” kinds of carbohydrates can exacerbate that tendency. But it all depends on the player.

      The old way used to be pasta, bread …. lots of carbs, and the bottle of magic water that was sprinkled over any and all injuries, like holy water. But things are different now. I could see Abidal being allowed to have pasta, but not Messi. And even then, fresh, whole-wheat pasta, rather than the grocery store crap. And then there’s the whole dessert question. Athletes LOVE dessert.

      As a bicycle racer, pasta used to be bread and butter of a cyclist’s training diet. Now, we pay more attention to ratios, and getting enough protein to prevent muscle breakdown, etc, etc.

  18. March 13, 2011

    I would really like to see Afellay play today and play for 90 minutes.

    The team has accumulated a lot of minutes these past two weeks given the schedule. And on the whole those have been some very difficult minutes as the games have been close.

    I’d like to see Xavi get a rest. At some point the team needs to be able to rotate in a third midfielder who can control the ball in order to take some of the load off of Xavi and Iniesta.

    Afellay can hopefully be that player though Pep may just feel he’s not integrated into the system enough to do that now.

    Afellay will more likely play on the wings today.

    I’d imagine we also may see Masch and Keita as well.

    Today would also be a good match to utilize Bojan but it doesn’t seem like Pep trusts him enough to perform in at the level required to win at Sevilla away.

    The squad really needs another striker for next season.

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      What’s your opinion on Keirrison? I haven’t seen him play much, but what I heard back then was that he was a super talent, and from what I hear now it seems like he was a bit of a spoiled git who couldn’t get a game at Fiorentina(?) and now can’t get a game at Santos(?).

      • March 13, 2011

        Don’t think he’s ever going to play for Barca. Pep is so particular and seems to have no interest in any of the players brought in outside of his direction.

    • March 13, 2011

      As I note below, I think that Guardiola will go with the Best Available Lineup. He wants this one, to maintain that 7-point lead in the standings. If you look at the rest of the schedule, it’s the last real danger match, now that I would imagine Villarreal have proritized Europe.

      • March 13, 2011

        The Villareal game away still concerns me and it’s part of why I would like to see the team get some rest after a grueling two week run.

        But your point on them prioritizing Europe makes a lot of sense.

        Villareal also seems very fatigued as a club. They play a high intensity style and while they’ve done a fantastic job building the club from within they don’t have a great deal of depth.

        At this point – prioritizing Europe for them makes a great deal of sense as long as they are confident of staying in the top 4 of La Liga (which they almost certainly will).

        The game today is crucial. No question about it.

        I’m concerned about the accumulated minutes. But today may be the day to engineer one last push and rest next week.

      • Helge
        March 13, 2011

        Well, Villarreal is not through, yet.
        I know they are very strong @ el Madrigal, but Leverkusen is stronger away from home than at home. And they certainly were the better side in the first leg, lost due to inacceptable defensive errors, especially from their two back-up CBs (Hyypiรค and Friedrich being injured).
        They earned 5 more points on the road, playing one game less. Their coach Jupp Heynckes once lost 0-2 against Inter and won in Milan 3-1 to progress. The interviews after the match suggested that the team really believes in their chance to progress.
        I’ll be rooting for Villarreal, but it might be a tough match. Hopefully, Villarreal will play their best line-up next Thursday!

  19. March 13, 2011

    The squad is Everybody Except Puyol, so expect (or I do, anyway) a starting XI of: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Abidal, Adriano, Busquets, Xaviniesta, MVP.

    By the by, if the M in MVP tags a brace, he will for the second year tie the scoring record set by Right Ronaldo for us, of 47 goals in a season that still has 12 more Liga matches to go, a Copa final and at least two more Champions League dates. At present, he is on 45 goals in 40 games.

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      I’m reminded again how absolutely ridiculous his numbers are. If he keeps up this rate and we make the final of the CL, assuming he will be rested in three Liga matches, he’d have scored 62 goals. With 30 assists. The f*.

  20. March 13, 2011

    Another issue to watch in today’s game – cards.

    A number of players are on 4 cards. Messi, Busquets, Masch, and Valdes I believe.

    It would not be in the teams worst interest for Messi and Busquets to pick up cards today with Getafe scheduled for next week.

    They cannot take a chance on key players missing the Clasico nor would missing the away match at Villareal be a positive.

    • Para
      March 13, 2011

      I can only hope that if they ‘happen’ to pick up those necessary cards that they are better at it than Pique. Remember the double-hand-ball red card in his attempt to not miss the clasico in November?

  21. Jim
    March 13, 2011

    Agreed that that is an issue, Euler. I have a horrible feeling the the footballing Gods have a Messi card pencilled in for the game before the Clasico. However, I just can’t see Messi going along with that.

    As far as the team is concerned I can’t see Pep looking past what he regards as his best 11 for the match and worry about resting later. I would like to see Bojan get some more time on the pitch because we can’t let this situation drag on beyond the summer with him. Also, at some point this season one of the front three will get injured and he’ll have to play ( unless Pep goes back to the horrible Iniesta on the right plan.) I don’t think he would turn to Affellay just yet although you have to say that Affellay seems to have moved a little ahead of him in the stakes.

    Had another look at the goals this morning. How good is Iniesta? Even after Fabregas’ backheel there was so much to do but it looked like he had made up his mind instantly to go for the jugular. Same with the second – yet other times he seems content to push it around from the same situation. Makes it more effective when he does run at them, I suppose. Total de-stabilisation of a defense when he does that.

    • Jnice
      March 13, 2011

      The card issue is why I see Busquets starting today and picking up a card to miss the match against Getafe. Then I think Mascherano will start against Getafe and miss the match against Villarreal, a match Busquets would probably be favorite to start.

      Or maybe I’m looking to deep into this.

      As for the lineup, I already expressed how important it is we try to arrive at the Bernabeu with that 7 point cushion. At the very least, I hope we reach El Madrigal with that. Besides, we played on Tuesday, instead of what would have usually been a Wednesday (since we are playing on Sunday). And there is no midweek game next week, so I don’t see how we don’t go with our best XI today.

      I just hope we are more clinical than we have been in recent times.

      • soccermomof4
        March 13, 2011

        Agree with you that this is the optimal yellow card solution for the DMs.

  22. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    regarding messi.
    Though the phenomenon is really what everybody says he is,M is completely a different kind of a beast.

    Best striker,best close control,2nd best dribbler,2nd best passer of the world.add that with tremondous workrate,hunger to win ,u will find probably the best player after maradona.

    And yes,whatever he did maradona is still the no 1 for me until messi wins the WC.May be i m too nostalgic bout maradona.

    • Diego
      March 13, 2011

      2nd Best Dribbler, 2nd Best Passer ?

      • outerspacedout
        March 13, 2011

        I’d say Iniesta has the best first touch in the world, his touch is just unbelievable at times. Maybe even close control. But Messi is hands-down nobody-even-close best dribbler in the world right now.

  23. soccermomof4
    March 13, 2011

    Hey y’all! It’s game day, hooray!

    Lineup, I’m content with whomever Pep puts out there. I’m expecting a couple from Messi because Sevilla is one of his favorite victims.

    Y’all have been talking about the diet and improvements that have occured since the Pep era begin. Does anyone have any links to some good articles about this?

  24. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    pep is that kind of a coach who treats the next game as the most important.so expect the best 11 with maxwell.for all adrianos contributions max is still better at defending and safe play.

    Afterall after that we have a weeks rest.

    Busi is gonna get his 5th 2day

  25. Diego
    March 13, 2011

    It could be 4-1 or 3-1.

    Messi (x2) with Villa scoring one.

    I’d like to see Maxwell in this match rather than Adriano, We should rotate the yellow thing with each player getting an intentional one to be missing only one player in the next match.

    Busi today to miss Getafe, Masch at Getafe to miss Villareal and so on.

    • Jnice
      March 13, 2011

      Busi today to miss Getafe, Masch at Getafe to miss Villareal and so on.

      Yeah, exactly.

      As for Messi, I think he should be able to be able to keep himself in check and potentially get a yellow at Villarreal to miss the Almeria match.

      Valdes just has to kick the darn ball and not waste any time.

      • hammeronmessi
        March 13, 2011

        amen to that if that happens.

  26. Eklavya
    March 13, 2011

    I just searched my name on the new toolbar thing, and all my posts which contain my name turned up! Yay!

  27. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    what a goal by alexis sanchez.i realky really think he should be our main transfer target.(if u wannaa spend 40M,then.otherwise a recognized CB.Dont see a need for a LB.

    • hammeronmessi
      March 13, 2011

      @diego

      2nd after iniesta at dribbling.2nd after u know whom at passimg.

      Thats my opinion.whats your opinion

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      Fantastic player and way too good for the bench. He’s definitely not gonna replace Pedro.

      Our summer targets should be depth signings. Preferably experienced and very good players who wouldn’t mind not starting but would like the opportunity at trophies, or young talents with time on their side but who are not gonna cost a lot. For this summer.

      In the long term we will need, if none come up from the academy, replacements for Villa (29), Abidal (31), Xavi (30), Puyol (32). The rest of our starters are young enough to carry on at top level for many more years. It appears we will eventually get Fabregas, and either him or one of our cantera will be the replacement for Xavi. Fontas sets to slot in on central defense. We have to see how Adriano develops on the left. As for the left side of the forward line, a player good enough to play for us has to be one of the top five players in the world in their position, and such a player coming next season and giving up time for Villa, not a good idea. But after next season or so, getting a world-class left or right forward (if we get a right-forward, Pedro can play on the left as well) will probably happen. Maybe Sanchez, maybe Bale, maybe Nasri, maybe Hazard, maybe someone else who at the time will be set to be one of the best in the world in the position.

      So in a very long-winded way basically saying, nah I don’t wanna get Sanchez in this off-season for loads of cash for the same reason I don’t want Cesc for loads of cash- too much money for a player way too good to be sitting on the bench for Villa/Xavi in most of the games.

      • Jnice
        March 13, 2011

        Sanzhez is good, but I don’t think we can sign him without their being some sort of bidding war. And we don’t have the money for that.

  28. Jnice
    March 13, 2011

    Pep: โ€œWe will keep on playing our game and creating chances. We must learn from situations like the recent Arsenalโ€™s match where we could still be eliminated even after dominating a lot. This experience will serve us well for the future.โ€

    Hope this means the players will be ruthless today.

  29. outerspacedout
    March 13, 2011

    Ps. One thing all previews should really have- the timing of the match. In GMT for us international readers, and the ‘most standard’ North America timezone cos so many of the readers here live in the Americas.

    • blitzen
      March 13, 2011

      21:00 CET, which is 3 pm Eastern time for North American readers.

      • Miguel
        March 13, 2011

        isn’t it 4pm for you guys? it’s listed as being on at 1pm for me here on the west coast.

        • blitzen
          March 13, 2011

          You’re right, atdhe has the time listed wrong. 4 pm it is.

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      I’m confused as to how Daylight Saving affects other parts of the world. Does it affect Europe? I’m GMT +8 and trying to figure out if the game will be at 3am or 4am. Will Google. Thanks blitzen.

      • Goo
        March 13, 2011

        Spain is at GMT+1. I usually just count from there. Using American time zones is confusing especially with daylight savings time in effect. 9 pm there = 4 am for us at GMT+8. Much better than waking up at 3am. (And now I need to sleep so I can watch this.)

    • outerspacedout
      March 13, 2011

      Wait blitzen, you live in Toronto right? I’m speaking to a friend in Toronto right now. If you tell me what time it is for you (3pm for you too?) then I can check with her what the time there is and compare with the time here now to see the difference and check.

      It’s 11.37pm here now.

    • Eklavya
      March 13, 2011

      I think it should have the local timing of the match (CET). It always the American timings… :\

  30. MoSSi
    March 13, 2011

    I think what this Barca needs to be considered by everyone as the greatest team in history is by winning another triplete, and doing it in convincing style..

    I don’t think that there will ever be a team that can win Champions Leagues in a row a la Di Stefano or the 3 in a row a la Cryuiff..

    What do y’all think?

  31. Miguel
    March 13, 2011

    “Weather prediction Seville (kick-off time): 14ยฐC, 80% chance rain, 83% humidity, wind 8 km/h from S”-barcastuff

  32. K_legit
    March 13, 2011

    The match that nearly killed me happened in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season..hope this one has more mercy on me

    • Vj
      March 13, 2011

      I remember last time’s liveblog. Kxevin got really edgy around the end and a bunch of us were this close from being booted out ๐Ÿ˜€

      Fun times indeed!

      • Eklavya
        March 13, 2011

        I don’t remember. What was the final score?

        • K_legit
          March 13, 2011

          2-3

          Messi, Bojan, Pedro for us 0-3

          then Kanoute gets one and then Fabiano gets one and we just abt hold on to the lead…heart attack time

          • Eklavya
            March 13, 2011

            Ah yes, now I remember … I wanted some action and I got it.

          • Jnice
            March 13, 2011

            Fabiano is injured and he’s been sold to Sao Paulo, but K_legit was talking about the corresponding fixture last year, in which we almost blew a 3 goal lead.

            I was so nervous/angry when they made it 2-3.

          • Eklavya
            March 13, 2011

            Jim, he wasn’t making a prediction…

  33. hammeronmessi
    March 13, 2011

    i m saying if we wanna spend 40M on one player then sanchez is the man.not cesc.

    And i think we dont need another forward.nxt season flay will fill that roll.

    Most important transfer dealing for nxt season is to renewal of dani.everything else comes after that.fullstop.

  34. SoccerMom
    March 13, 2011

    Vicsoc, can I borrow that hammer?

  35. Eklavya
    March 13, 2011

    The hammer preview reminded me that Kari stopped her BFB Ban Hammer jokes even though she said she won’t.

    Anyway, lineup I want:

    VV
    Alves Pique Abidal Adriano
    Xavi Mascherano Iniesta
    Messi Villa Pedro

    I REALLY want Afellay to but I don’t see it happening.

    • Eklavya
      March 13, 2011

      Busi instead of Masch because of the yellows.

      • soccermomof4
        March 13, 2011

        Nah, Busi neeeds his 5th today to sit out Getafe and then sMasche can get his 5th against Getafe because we need Busi more against Villareal. Then both have clean slates by el clasico. Might it be a good idea for Messi to “miss” Almeria by wishing someone happy bithday during the Villareal game??? Should Valdez waste some time at the Villareal game and give Pinto a start against Almeria?????

        • Eklavya
          March 13, 2011

          Everyone should get a yellow card! Even those on the bench and Pep and Tito!

          • soccermomof4
            March 13, 2011

            A yellow card party? Pinto can get one for whistling?

          • Eklavya
            March 13, 2011

            Yellows:

            Pinto: whistling
            Messi: for saying “Happy Birthday” to his yet-to-be-born-son
            Pep: for telling the referee he made the correct decision.
            Tito: for agreeing with Pep
            Bojan: for not playing good enough
            Villa: for being offside
            etc etc

          • blitzen
            March 13, 2011

            No, Villa for staying onside and not giving the linesman enough to do.

        • BTTFCule
          March 13, 2011

          Messi will get a ban of 3 or 4 matches if he shows any message again. I think Messi can get a yellow for talking to the referee ?

          • Eklavya
            March 13, 2011

            Messi gets a yellow for thinking the ref has a lego face!

  36. Jim
    March 13, 2011

    It’ll be interesting tonight as Sevilla will probably give our defence more of a working over than they’ve had for some time and done at pace. We should find out a few things.

  37. Eklavya
    March 13, 2011

    I don’t know if this has been posted before but its so awesome it needs to be posted again:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/allasFCB#p/a/f/2/sfFqdsvMl6E

    Puyol and Pique’s reactions during the Arsenal game. FREAKIN’ HILARIOUS! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Puyol looks like he’s shouting as if he was in the match and Pique goes absolutely mad for some reason ๐Ÿ˜€ [AllasFCB]

    • blitzen
      March 13, 2011

      You can tell that it drives them absolutely crazy to have to watch such an important game from the stands. Puyol in particular looks like he might just leap the barrier and run onto the field shouting instructions all the way. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Eklavya
        March 13, 2011

        No, not really … I hadn’t even noticed her till you pointed it out ๐Ÿ˜›

  38. blitzen
    March 13, 2011

    In case it wasn’t cleared up above, the game is on at 4 pm Eastern time.

    It doesn’t help that the time stamps on posts in here are an hour behind! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Jose
      March 13, 2011

      I propose that, to stop all this East Coast, West Coast, Central Time confusion, that all times henceforth follow the Mountain Standard Time zone.

      Because we all know Mountain Time is where it’s at.

      • Eklavya
        March 13, 2011

        Mountain Time Zone?? Do Yetis live there or something?!

        • blitzen
          March 13, 2011

          Again with the Yetis! I grew up in Mountain Time Zone, so there must be something in it.

      • Miguel
        March 13, 2011

        are you proposing a bloods & crips-like peace treaty? visionary.

  39. Miguel
    March 13, 2011

    garrido v frowny face preciado. i wonder if villarreal will be spent since they made that trip to leverkusen.

  40. Miguel
    March 13, 2011

    gooooooool! not the prettiest, but rossi gets his quince.

  41. blitzen
    March 13, 2011

    I was just about to post that Villarreal wasn’t looking very convincing, and then they score. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Still, they are not playing anywhere near the level they were a few months ago. Too many long balls and a scattered defense.

  42. Miguel
    March 13, 2011

    real madrid youth product borja valero’s passes are so on point. can’t we bust a reverse figo on los merengues.

    watching the highlights of man city in the fa cup & it looks like silva had a hell of a game today. i wish he hadn’t left la liga.

    • Miguel
      March 13, 2011

      i don’t believe in proper punctuation or parallel structure. or correct spelling. deal with it.

  43. Miguel
    March 13, 2011

    Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Pique Abidal Adriano – Xavi Busqets Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa
    -barcastuff

      • Whatever
        March 13, 2011

        Adriano’s been very good lately, and Maxwell’s form dropped significantly. Natural choice by Guardiola.

    • soccermomof4
      March 13, 2011

      Poor Jeffren didn’t make the bench…again.

  44. Miguel
    March 13, 2011

    uh-oh. sorry jose angel. sporting down to ten men. yikes.

  45. vicsoc
    March 13, 2011

    Liveblog is up, see you 7 or so minutes before game time.

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