Sunday, October 22, 2006

Real v Barca - the preview

There's been a lot said about what mood both clubs will take into this game, most of it nonsense. First it was how downcast and easy pickings Real would be after their shock 1-0 loss last weekend to Getafe, and now it's how bad Barcelona are after they lost 1-0 to two-times Premiership champs Chelsea. Of course, most of it is just hype played up by the press. Every quote is used out of context and exaggerated in order to conform to a certain narrative. In a game like this, the form book goes out of the window. You can never tell what's going to happen.

If Barca win this game, they'll be 8 points clear of Real - an excellent position from which to build. If Real win, they'll still be 2 points off Barca, but it will inject some much needed confidence into Capello's side, at least where the league is concerned.

Real Madrid

Possible line-up (4-2-1-3):

Ramos--Helguera--Cannavaro--R Carlos
------------Van Nistelrooy

*May be dropped for Reyes, although I can't see why on current form. Beckham should come in as a substitute at some point as well.

Contrary to claims that Real have yet to find their system, Capello's starting XI seems nailed on, except for the one uncertainty I indicated above. It's an effective formation, defensively solid with the personnel indicated above, not to mention threatening in attack through the lethal finishing of Van Nistelrooy, the pace and trickery of Robinho and Raul, and of course the intelligence of El Rey - Raul.


Possible line-up (4-3-3):


*Could be rotated for Oleguer
**Could be used in the holding position, with Thuram dropping in to partner Puyol
***May be rested in favour of Motta or even Marquez
****May be too tired out from playing 90 minutes against both Sevilla and Chelsea. If so, will be replaced by Giuly, and may appear as a supersub.
*****Could be subbed out for Saviola at some point.

In contrast to Real, Barca have a settled system but a lot of uncertainty about personnel because of the rotation system employed by coach Rijkaard. They've had harder fixtures than Real over the last week and those who played both league and CL games will probably be exhausted. I'm sure Rijkaard will take that into consideration.

The truth is, no one knows what's going to happen when possibly the biggest club rivalry in the world is played out. Am I worried? Sure. But let's hope for a good, even game, decided by moments of beauty.

1 comment:

Yrsa Roca Fannberg said...

I think it could go either way. Madrid will be super alert and Barcelona could be tired. I do not have the greatest sensations, but let's hope it will all go well