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Dec 5, 2009

FC Barcelona will be looking to preserve their five point advantage against Real Madrid by the end of this week. Even though Real has a match on hand the five point lead could assert enormous pressure on them. Gerrard Pique and Busquets has been included in the squad after their last match absence. Guardiola has selected a 18 men squad for the trip to Deportivo - Valdés, Pinto, Henry, Xavi, Piqué, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Puyol, Pedro, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Maxwell, Messi, Chygryskiy Alves, Abidal, Keita, Touré. Deportivo is lying in fifth place in the league table. they have the same point as fouth placed Valencia. Deportivo always have been a tough ground for us to travel. Eventhough this Deportivo side may not be dangerous as the likes which terrorised side in late nineties. But our away form has been far from perfect. Actually we have struggle in almost every one of our away match so far this season. This combined with the fact that our traditional record against Deportivo is not that great, makes this tie a very interesting one.

FC Barcelona players will be keen to improve the dissappointing show which was put against Xerex. A repeat of the same will see Madrid closing the gap on us. You can't play badly at Riazor and escape. It is also have to be seen who Guardiola uses as defensive midfielder. Toure is the best we got but there is something which is going between Toure and Guardiola. But I expect Guardiola to put his differences behind and field Toure at Deportivo. Valdes will be as usual keeping the goal. Pique and Puyol are expected to form the centre of defense. Alves and Abidal most probably form the full backs. I expect Guardiola to field both Iniesta and Xavi in the middle. Toure should be picked as the defensive midfielder. The combination of xavi and Iniesta in the middle could be necessary to grab the game from Deportivo. Ibrahmovic and Messi should be expected to return into the startingt line-up and will be forming the offensive line with either Pedro/Henry. I expect Henry to play this game on the left side. This will be one hell of a match but I expect barca to scrap through. My prediction is a Barca win with 1-2.

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