Barcelona, Pep Guardiola and 18 undoubtable players
“These players are worth an empire” said Pep Guardiola. Lio Messi and Andres Iniesta woke up just on time on Sunday and granted Barcelona a vital victory in the fight for the Spanish title.
Lio Messi’s celebrated his 250th cap with Barcelona last week by scoring the winning goal in the last quarter of an hour. Barcelona changed completely as the Argentinean appeared in the game in the last 30 minutes, building powerful offenses along with Iniesta.
A few weeks ago, Barcelona’s coach Pep Guardiola asked for the media to allow him to have faith in his players. The performance of the Blaugranas in the last 45 minutes of Sunday’s game showed that Barcelona is far from taking a turn of the worst.
Barcelona must now prepare to visit Mallorca, a preliminary game before Pep Guardiola’s Blaugranas lock horns with Valencia, Arsenal and Sevilla in less than 20 days. Now that Guardiola has taken the leap of faith, who can stop Barcelona from rising high to the top of the international football podium once again ?
La Liga’s final third is about to come, and Barcelona starts feeling the passage of time: Xavi Hernandez will be skipping the next game as he struggles to recover from a right leg injury.
“I believe I’ll be ready for Valencia, this is only a minor injury” said Xavi, whose absence will greatly undermine Barcelona’s control of the game. He joins Carles Puyol, Jeffren Suarez and Victor Valdez in the list of physically compromised players.
Javier Mascherano’s disappointing performance in the last game showed that it won’t be easy for Guardiola to replace Xavi. Gerard Pique was also in poor form, leaving far too many spaces for Fernando Llorente to wreak havoc in Jose Manuel Pinto’s area.
Daniel Alves was the engine that kept the team moving forwards against Bilbao, but he received a yellow card and will be missing the next clash for disciplinary action.
Whether Barcelona’s machinery works at full capacity or not, the Cule squad can always rely on the individual prowess of its strikers. David Villa and Pedro are both going through an excellent moment, having scored 28 goals in La Liga so far. Messi is the main referent in the attack, with 25 goals in 24 Liga games.
Barcelona’s boss called young winger Martin Montoya for the next game, trying to widen his spectrum. Guardiola’s reaction time will be tested in the next few games, will he find a way to keep the same scheme without the presence of key players as Daniel Alves or Xavi this Saturday at the Iberostar Stadium?
source : http://www.livesoccertv.com/news/2908/spanish-la-liga-barcelona-pep-guardiola-and-18-undoubtable-players/