10 Updates

Spain need a point to seal World Cup berth (Preview)

Oct 14 2013, 5:50am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 14 (IANS) It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday.

Madrid, Oct 14 — It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday. A point for the...

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1 year ago

Spain need a point to seal World Cup berth (Preview)

Oct 14 2013, 5:50am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 14 (IANS) It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday.

Madrid, Oct 14 — It promises to be a happy homecoming for Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta as the reigning World Champions look to book their place in next summer's World Cup Tuesday.

A point for the Spanish at home to Georgia (who have no chance of qualifying) will assure that Spain have a ticket to Brazil and the match in Albacete's Carlos Belmonte Stadium is extra special for Iniesta given that it takes place in what is virtually his home town.

The man who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final to give Spain their first ever World Cup is from the area and has always maintained his roots there despite joining Barcelona when he was just eight years old.

Iniesta will form part of a starting 11 which pulled off a laboured 2-1 against Belarus in Mallorca Friday night to take them to the verge of qualification and thanks to their superior goal difference over second placed France, Spain could probably lose Tuesday and still be on the plane to Brazil.

However, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has some issues to settle in his starting 11. For starters, who is going to lead the Spanish attack.

Del Bosque opted to give a debut to Swansea forward Michu, who played as a false number 9 against Belarus and the experiment was not a total success as Spain laboured in front of goal, with their opening strike coming just after the hour, thanks to midfielder Xavi Hernandez.

Alvaro Negredo, a more typical centre forward made an impact as a substitute as he came on and scored the decisive second goal of the game. Negredo has now scored nine times for Spain and is pushing for a start, although his typical bustling play doesn't necessarily fit in with the touch style favoured by Del Bosque and his creative midfield.

Del Bosque also has an issue in goal where he decided to drop Iker Casillas in favour of Victor Valdes Friday. It was a surprise given the coach's previous support for the Real Madrid man, but also a logical decision given Valdes' early season form and the fact that Casillas is now substitute with his club. The question now is whether or not Del Bosque will stick with Valdes or bring Casillas back into the side.

Finally with central defenders Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique both carrying slight knocks, Del Bosque will have to consider playing Inigo Martinez in central defence, while Nacho Monreal continues at left back for the injured Jordi Alba, who will be out for six weeks with a torn muscle.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

Lionel Messi Fitness Scare Adds to Luis Enrique's Problems at Barcelona

Nov 4 2014 3:15am CST | Source: Bleacher Report

The storm clouds are rumbling above the Camp Nou. They literally were, in fact, on Monday morning, with Barcelona's autumn sun washed away by a torrential downpour. It made for an easy metaphor, given Barcelona have lost two consecutive games after going the previous eight unbeaten in La Liga. And just like in the city, when it rains, it pours. A series of events, some unfortunate and some preventable, have combined to leave a string ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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9

6 weeks ago

Five Current Players That Could Make Great Future Managers: Arsenal & Barcelona Stars Primed For Top Job

Nov 3 2014 4:01pm CST | Source: CaughtOffside

Five stars that could become top managers when they retire from playing. When a player retires they are usually faced with one of four options. Either they will become a manager, a coach, go into punditry or leave the game altogether to partake in some other far flung pursuit. However, those that do go into management come from all backgrounds within the game. Some are seasoned internationals, whilst others work their way up the hard way through ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
8

6 weeks ago

Barcelona have yet to learn when Lionel Messi could use a rest

Nov 3 2014 12:53pm CST | Source: SBNation

A week after getting torn apart by Real Madrid in El Clásico, Barcelona turned in another substandard performance, losing to Celta Vigo on Saturday. Given that the game was at the Camp Nou, that Celta's the team Luis Enrique left to take the Barca job and that the winning goal was set up by Barcelona B castoff Nolito, it was a bit of an embarrassing loss. It might not be indicative of future problems, but ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

50 Best Players Of The 21st Century: Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi Alongside Arsenal, Man United & Chelsea Legends

Nov 3 2014 11:31am CST | Source: CaughtOffside

Ultimate list, featuring Zidane, Ronaldinho, Xavi and Henry. In no particular order, 50 modern greats of the game: the best footballers in the world since the start of the 21st century... SEE ALSO: Arsenal v Anderlecht: Live Streaming Guide And Champions League Preview Ronaldo Manchester United - sensational return agreed Top 50 best footballers in the world 2014/15 50) Fernando Torres 49) Yaya Toure SEE AL ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

Barcelona’s Roberto out with leg injury vs Ajax

Nov 3 2014 9:10am CST | Source: Sportsnet.ca

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona says midfielder Sergi Roberto will miss the Champions League match against Ajax because of a right leg injury. The club says the 22-year-old Roberto picked up a muscle strain and will be sidelined until his condition improves. The club did not say when that would be. Midfielder Andres Iniesta and defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen are also injured for Barcelona, which has lost two straig ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
5

6 weeks ago

Barcelona’s Roberto out with leg injury vs Ajax

Nov 3 2014 9:10am CST | Source: Sportsnet.ca

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona says midfielder Sergi Roberto will miss the Champions League match against Ajax because of a right leg injury. The club says the 22-year-old Roberto picked up a muscle strain and will be sidelined until his condition improves. The club did not say when that would be. Midfielder Andres Iniesta and defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen are also injured for Barcelona, which has lost two straight ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
4

6 weeks ago

Barcelona’s Roberto out with leg injury vs Ajax

Nov 3 2014 9:10am CST | Source: Sportsnet.ca

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona says midfielder Sergi Roberto will miss the Champions League match against Ajax because of a right leg injury. The club says the 22-year-old Roberto picked up a muscle strain and will be sidelined until his condition improves. The club did not say when that would be. Midfielder Andres Iniesta and defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen are also injured for Barcelona, which has lost two straight matches in t ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
3

6 weeks ago

Barcelona’s Roberto out with leg injury vs Ajax

Nov 3 2014 9:10am CST | Source: Sportsnet.ca

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona says midfielder Sergi Roberto will miss the Champions League match against Ajax because of a right leg injury. The club says the 22-year-old Roberto picked up a muscle strain and will be sidelined until his condition improves. The club did not say when that would be. Midfielder Andres Iniesta and defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen are also injured for Barcelona, which has lost two straight matches in the Spanish league. Barcelona is second ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
2

6 weeks ago

Luis Enrique Should Put Javier Mascherano in Midfield for Tricky Ajax Tie

Nov 3 2014 6:01am CST | Source: Bleacher Report

Barcelona face Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday night, and Luis Enrique should put Javier Mascherano in his favoured midfield position to help control the game. There are few better defensive midfielders than the tenacious Argentine out there, if any, so it's a shame to see him line up so frequently at centre-back for Barcelona. Sergio Busquets is a mainstay in the anchor-man role for Barcelona, but this season he's been far from his best. In fact, Busquets has turne ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
1

6 weeks ago

(Video) Barcelona 0-1 Celta Vigo: Larrivey Scores A Blinder As Visitors Stun Former Boss Luis Enrique

Nov 1 2014 4:02pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Celta Vigo moved to within three points of Barcelona in La Liga with a stunning win at the Nou Camp. Is there a crisis at the Nou Camp? Some will certainly feel that way this evening after Barcelona fell to a second consecutive La Liga defeat, with a second half goal from Joaquin Larrivey enough to secure a stunning victory for Celta Vigo in Catalonia. SEE MORE: Hazard QPR penalty - Dive or no dive? Eight Liverpool players who aren't good enough Manchester Unite ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
 

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