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Apr 9, 2010

Barca vs Real Madrid is the biggest Event in Footballing Calendar

It's again that time of the year when the entire footballing world's attention moves to Spain. Yup, it's the time for the second edition of "El Clasico" of this season's La Liga campaign. The last time when FC Barcelona met Real Madrid, the host emerged victorious at Camp Nou thanks to a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Ibra Scores In Clasico Debut . Ibrahimovic is set to miss tomorrow night's encounter. Last time Barca's visit to Santiago Bernabeu ended with a huge thrashing of Real Madrid, something every Blaugrana fan savour till date. Find the report of that match here - FC Barcelona Thrashes Real Madrid. Even though Ibrahimovic is missing from the squad, Barca has every one of their goal scorers from last season's visit to Bernabeu available for selection. The squad announced by Guardiola is - Valdés, Pinto, Piqué, Puyol, Alves, Milito, Márquez, Maxwell, Chygrynskiy, Touré, Keita, Sergio, Xavi, Iniesta, Jeffren, Messi, Henry, Pedro, Bojan. This match is billed as a clash between the most beautiful attack versus the most costly attacks in the world. This match could be a turning point in deciding this season's winner. Even though a defeat will not cut down any teams chances as there are seven more matches to be played, but it cannot be denied that the winning team will have serious momentum on their side.

The mind games have already started in the build up to the game. But it looks like Guardiola has banned any of his players from openly commenting about Clasico. It was clear when both Alves and Pique cleverly avoided giving any answers when queried by the press. It was really surprising to see Real Madrid stars showering Barca players with praise following their win against Arsenal. Ramos declared Messi as the World's Best, something which may not go down well with his star team mate. Iker's praises were showered at FC Barcelona's midfield General Xavi Hernandez. I would say, don't fall in for these tactics. There is a pattern in this, which is aimed at making Barca players getting complacent and taking the match lightly.

This Real Madrid side has been in great form running up 12 consecutive wins in the league. So this match will be a far cry from last season's encounter. They may not have been winning matches in spectacular fashions, but the fact that they are still winning without playing at their best makes them more dangerous. After missing their defensive duties against Arsenal due to suspension, Pique and Puyol will be available for selection. So we will be having our regular center back pairing in front of Valdes. Dani Alves will return after being suspended for the last league match. Maxwell once again will be entrusted the task of dealing with Ronaldo in the left-back position. The midfield will be most probably made up of Toure, Busquets and Xavi. The attacking line would most probably see Iniesta, Bojan and Messi together.

It Will be another cash against Messi and Ronaldo

This is a great chance for FC Barcelona to go back to the top of the league. A win or draw will see them replacing Real Madrid on top as La Liga will be decided on head on record. There would be enormous pressure on Real Madrid as they have to take revenge for the 2-6 drubbing of last season and also after spending 250 million the Bernabeu faithfuls will be demanding for a commanding performance. This match may once again turn in to a duel between Ronaldo and Messi. The pressure is heavily on Ronaldo, as Messi is leaping miles ahead of him in the "Greatest Player"debate. To make matters worse he is eight goals behind Messi in La Liga Pichichi list. Considering Ronaldo's ego he will be looking to fire on all cylinders.

Again the initial focus will be on what formation Gaurdiola might employ at Bernabeu. With Ibra injured he might go for the 4-1-2-3 formation he employed against Arsenal. But the risk will be high considering that Ronaldo will be up against Maxwell and could out without any help. I would prefer a 4-3-3 formation with Bojan on top of it. FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid match rarely fails to entertain the faithful and footballing fans; this one also may be no different. With Lionel Messi in such great form FC Barcelona looks confident to get a favourable result. The last time Messi got a hat-trick, he recreated the same magic in the next match. That is a prospect all Real Madrid fans fear at this moment. With Messi in this kind of form I am backing our team to win this match. My prediction will be a 3-1 win for Barca.

In Other News : Pinto has Renewed His Contract with the Club for one more year.

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