Liga Preview: Barcelona – Deportivo La Coruña, Sunday 3pm EST
As champions—champions!—we’re going to receive the pasillo. As champions—champions!—we’re going to be able to rest whoever we want and I hope it’s a large portion of the starting lineup as the squad has played too many matches in this (championship winning) season. There’s one more major match to go and 2 “tune up” matches that Martin Ferguson analyze with zeal.
But if we don’t play our starting lineup, if we put in subs and second stringers, there will be those who call us naughty names because we didn’t put in the proper effort. It’s the end of the season, after all, and teams are battling not just their particular opponents, but the results of other teams in the relegation zone. This means Depor, which sits in 16th, 3 points above 18th placed Zaragoza. Getafe is sandwiched between them while Sporting Gijon sits just 1 point above Depor.
Last week the number of teams in danger of relegation was something like 84, but now it’s a much smaller group. Almería has been confirmed down for a while and Hércules has essentially booked its place in the segunda as well, though they could survive with some sort of miracle. So Depor need to earn points to ensure their safety and there’s no better time than now for picking up even a draw. It’s just that Zaragoza and Getafe might whine that we didn’t treat them the same way (starting subs), that Depor is getting away with murder, that it wasn’t fair.
As champions (champions!), though, we’re entitled to rest whoever the hell we want against whomsoever we want. If it was Valencia we were playing, I’d say rest people, give Thiago and JDS chances to play against superior opposition. Let Muniesa start at center back, give the other nod to Mascherano, start Maxwell on the left, and put Montoya on the right even though he is injured. The middle could be Alcantara, Afellay, Alves, and Andres. And up front we should go with Jeffren and Jonathan. Sure, some people are out of position, but what do I care when that spells JAM. Like NBA. Like raspberry (my favorite!).
Quickly: Depor and Messi have scored the same number of goals this year in the league: 31. So I’m assuming they’ll score the same number of goals tomorrow as well. 1 each.
Official Prediction: 1-1, Messi coming off the bench, ending the JAM session.
Sorry this is so truncated, but (soon-to-be) Mrs. The Lady is graduating from grad school today and I have to run uptown for that. I haven’t even had time to casually look this post over or make it of substantive length. But whatever, we’re champions (champions!). Enjoy the pasillo, folks.