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REAL MADRID vs BARCELONA
DATE:27/04/2011 20:45
AH: 0:0    PICK: HOME@2.02    STAKE: 10
CL - Football - Europe - CL - Champions League

update: Barcelona midfielder Iniesta ruled out according to manager Guardiola in press conference

Champions League Semifinals

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

Third "Clasico" in 12 days. I will summarize what happened on last two "Clasicos" as it is important to understand the current situation. The first one took place last 16 April in league. Manager Mourinho surprised everyone not only because of the tactic of three defensive midfielders but also because defender Pepe was one of them. Real Madrid, with only 30% of ball possesion, took advantage of their immense strength on the counterattack to create so many good chances while Barcelona had almost none. A penalty for Barça and a red card for Madrid helped Barça lead 0-1. With ten players, Real Madrid was able to force a penalty and draw the game 1-1. This was the first time Real Madrid came close to beating Barça in many years. Last week was Spanish Cup final and everything seemed to point out that Mou was going to repeat his successful experiment against Barcelona. Far from finding a solution to their lack of chances in the first "Clasico", Barça manager Guardiola insisted with playing the usual tactic. The first half was complete domination for Madrid, again with just 30% of ball possession they cornered Barcelona in many occasions. In the second half, roles were reversed as Madrid's players' physical condition was depleted from chasing the ball so much but an incredibly epic Casillas(similar to the one we've seen in World Cup final) maintained Madrid alive all through to extra time. Real Madrid's players invested their last breath to score an amazing goal by Ronaldo, winning the final 0-1 and becoming Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) champions after 18 years without winning it.

For first time in many years, pessimism has invaded the Barça side. Even players who appeared in last press conferences have admitted that Real Madrid might have surpassed them in some ways and that now it’s the worst moment to face them. But far from giving up, manager Guardiola has already said that he will insist to keep the tactic responsible for so much good football and glory in the past. The problem this time is that he has no defender on the left side as Adriano and Maxwell are injured. It’s not clear what his plan will be but it looks like doubtful defender Puyol (he was not expected to play this match) could play on the left while Mascherano and Piqué complete the center of defense. In any case, these changes in defense could lead to problems and I believe Barcelona will suffer a bit more at the back.

Real Madrid on the other hand will also miss defender Carvalho who will be replaced by Albiol(this is the main worry for home team). The rest of the team is expected to be the same that won the Spanish Cup including “anti-Barça ingredient” Pepe in the midfield. They will also miss Khedira who fell injured in the final but will be well replaced by Lass Diarra. They have come from beating Valencia 3-6 last Saturday with their subs so their confidence right now is sky-high. Another big worry is that with the amount of chances they have they are hardly converting any of them into goals. In a ninety minute period, these last two Clasicos’ results were 1-1 and 0-0. They cannot repeat these scores this time as it’s not enough for Camp Nou in second leg where we can presume that Barcelona will give their best version so far. This is why they have no option but to win and I think they can do it in front of home fans.

Psychological advantage is on home side as they have proven to themselves they can neutralize Barça. The script of the match should repeat and Barcelona should once again get stuck from midfield onwards. I believe it will be important that Real Madrid score as soon as possible as they have shown that the longer the match, the more physical advantage Barcelona will have. But even with physical disadvantage, Real Madrid is a team that has pushed the word “sacrifice” to an unknown level in order to beat their arch rivals and I think nobody who watched the final can deny this. Barcelona should get their chance in second leg back in the 5-0 “crime scene” at Camp Nou but for now I think Real Madrid will not lose and if they make use of their chances it can potentially be a good home victory.

I recommend Real Madrid +0 AH @ 2. 02

26/04/2011 13:00, read 5060 times
Tipster Eksperto has recommended this bet from PINNACLE SPORTS.
You can take the same bet from PINNACLE SPORTS.
EKSPERTO - CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - Statistics
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Champions League 36 17 3 16 359 -9.05 -2.75
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