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Selection doubts for both coaches ahead of Clasico
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Selection doubts for both coaches ahead of Clasico

Oct 25 2013, 9:46am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 25 (IANS) Both FC Barcelona coach Tata Martino and Carlo Ancelotti, his opposite number in Real Madrid, have doubts regarding their respective starting 11s ahead of Saturday's Clasico between the two sides in the Camp Nou Stadium.

Madrid, Oct 25 — Both FC Barcelona coach Tata Martino and Carlo Ancelotti, his opposite number in Real Madrid, have doubts regarding their respective starting 11s ahead of Saturday's Clasico between...

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51 weeks ago

Selection doubts for both coaches ahead of Clasico

Oct 25 2013, 9:46am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Oct 25 (IANS) Both FC Barcelona coach Tata Martino and Carlo Ancelotti, his opposite number in Real Madrid, have doubts regarding their respective starting 11s ahead of Saturday's Clasico between the two sides in the Camp Nou Stadium.

Madrid, Oct 25 — Both FC Barcelona coach Tata Martino and Carlo Ancelotti, his opposite number in Real Madrid, have doubts regarding their respective starting 11s ahead of Saturday's Clasico between the two sides in the Camp Nou Stadium.

The game is the first time either coach has sat in the dugout for a Clasico and the result and performance of their teams could go a long way to determining how long they last in their current positions, reports Xinhua.

Barca go into the game with a three point lead over Real Madrid and the advantage of playing in front of a stadium packed with their home fans.

Martino's side has not been at its best since returning from the international break and has managed just two draws from two games, although some would argue that the 1-1 draw Barca took away to AC Milan in the San Siro Stadium was far from a bad result.

The good news for Martino is that Lionel Messi looked back to his best Tuesday night after missing three weeks with a thigh injury and Messi's will be the first name down on the Barca teamsheet, quickly followed by that of Neymar; after that there are questions Martino must answer, such as who will be the third player in attack.

Alexis Sanchez seems to be Martino's preferred choice and the Chilean has been in good form this season with his pace and workrate compensating somewhat for his lack of precision in front of the goal.

There is also a good case for including Pedro Rodriguez, who has a habit of finding the net against Real Madrid and also for Cesc Fabregas, who can play as a false striker and whose late arrival into the penalty area is hard for defenders to close down.

Cesc's inclusion would mean there are no doubts over the regular midfield of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, meaning the remaining questions to be answered hang over the Barca defence.

While Dani Alves and Adriano are both certain to play as full backs, who plays in central defence depends on whether or not Gerard Pique is able to play after suffering a slight pelvic injury in Milan.

If Pique recovers he will probably partner club captain Carles Puyol, who was rested in midweek, but if Pique can't play, Martino will have to decide between youngster Marc Bartra, who has performed well in recent weeks, or the more experienced Javier Mascherano, who only returned after injury himself Tuesday night.

Ancelotti also has his doubts, but apart from Xabi Alonso, who is putting the final touches to his return after injury, he has no fitness problems in his squad.

Real Madrid look to be improving in recent games and as a result Ancelotti will keep faith with a three-man midfield, composed of Sami Khedira, Luka Modric and Asier Illaramendi, with Isco relegated to the subs' bench.

There are questions over who will play at right back with Alvaro Arbeloa likely to get the nod ahead of Javier Carvajal, although it is possible Ancelotti might decide to move Sergio Ramos across to the right and pair Rafael Varane and Pepe in central defence, a move that would add to Madrid's considerable height advantage at set pieces.

Speaking on Spanish radio Thursday night, Ancelotti hinted that Gareth Bale could start in the Camp Nou, which seems logical if Madrid want to see a return on their massive summer investment, but that decision means Ancelotti has to decide between dropping Angel de Maria or playing without a specialised center-forward.

Di Maria has responded to Bale's arrival with some of the best form of his career and his pace and ability to curl the ball in from the right would be lost if Bale replaced him in that position.

In order to accommodate both Bale and Di Maria, Ancelotti could opt to play Cristiano Ronaldo as a central striker, but has already said that would not be a good idea given Ronaldo's effectiveness cutting in from the left, or he could play Bale in a central role and leave both Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata out of his line-up.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
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11

3 days ago

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Oct 14 2014 1:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Two struggling teams will attempt to re-ignite their Euro 2016 qualifying campaigns on Tuesday, as Denmark will host Portugal in a rematch of their Euro 2012 group-stage match.Portugal lost their opener against Albania, leading to the sacking of Paulo Bento, and in Fernando Santos' first match at the helm, the squad fell 2-1 to Euro 2016 hosts France.Denmark haven't fared much better, needing a late goal t ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
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4 days ago

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Wales have not qualified for a major football finals since the 1958 FIFA World Cup and are not generally considered to be a side to worry about, but two factors have come together to boost their chances of reaching the European Championship finals in 2016. With one of the world's top players in their midst, Gareth Bale, and the expansion of qualification allowing the top three teams in each group to have a chance of making the finals, W ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
8

4 days ago

Real Madrid Line Up Replacement Signing For Liverpool-Bound Karim Benzema

Oct 13 2014 2:28am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Spanish giants eye Arsenal target in January striker swap. Real Madrid could be set to make some changes in attack this January in a transfer move that could benefit Liverpool in their attempt to sign Karim Benzema. SEE ALSO: Cavani Arsenal - Gunners eye PSG striker Top 50 best footballers in the world 2014/15 Top 18 Hottest Arsenal WAGs 2014: Arsene Wenger’s Wife On The List! According to Spanish source Fichajes.net, Real are ready to offload French forward Benzema and replace him with the ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
7

4 days ago

Manchester United’s attempt to seal €100m Real Madrid deal

Oct 13 2014 1:53am CDT | Source: Soccerlens

Manchester United’s attempt to seal €100m Real Madrid deal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com Sometimes I feel that writing transfer stories need greater imagination than creating a good plot for a classic thriller story. Add Manchester United to your plot, rest (business part) will take care of itself. Recently Jorge Mendes claimed that his client Cristiano Ronaldo will not join Manchester United or for that matter any other club in the wo ...
Source: Soccerlens   Full article at: Soccerlens
 

 
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5

5 days ago

£90m Manchester United Among Eight Players Set To Leave Real Madrid In January Transfer Window: Report

Oct 12 2014 7:38am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Could these EIGHT players be on their way out of Real this season? Real Madrid made some notable mistakes in the summer transfer window, letting key players and fan favourites Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso leave to Manchester United and Bayern Munich respectively, much to the disappointment of the Bernabeu supporters. SEE ALSO: Ronaldo Manchester United - £60m return agreed Top 50 best footballers in the world 2014/15 Man Utd FIFA 15 best XI! The Spanish giants cou ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
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4

5 days ago

Italian Paper Talk: Pippo Inzaghi Insists Europe Is AC Milan’s Home

Oct 12 2014 3:28am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

'Ciao Vidal, Juve go for Mata...' All the latest headlines from the newspapers in Italy as Pippo Inzaghi reflects on his time in charge of AC Milan and looks ahead to getting back into Europe.  Image courtesy of La Gazzetta dello Sport. - Pippo Inzaghi, Europe is Milan’s home. - ‘We must get back into the big time. Now the Coppa Italia is our Champions League’. - His dream? To emulate Carlo Ancelotti. Plus comments on Keisuke ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
3

6 days ago

Real Madrid Legend Zinedine Zidane Not Qualified To Coach B Team

Oct 11 2014 9:39am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

The Spanish FA are awaiting Real Madrid's response... French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane - World Cup, Ballon d'Or and triple FIFA World Player Of The Year winner - is not qualified to be a football coach. According to Spanish newspaper "AS", Zidane is in hot water with the Spanish FA for coaching Real Madrid's B team without having the right coaching badges. Ironically, Zidane has only been coaching the B ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
2

6 days ago

Real Madrid's Isco Can Help to Fix Spain's Stale Midfield

Oct 11 2014 4:40am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Between the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup, it became clear that Spain's midfield under Vicente del Bosque was quickly approaching a point of transition.  Though still led by the glittering triumvirate of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, La Roja were gradually slowing down, exhibiting small vulnerabilities after a reign of supreme dominance.  Interestingly, Del Bosque appeared to acknowledge the impending evolution of his side in July last year—Spain ha ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
1

1 week ago

Zidane’s coaching of reserves under fire

Oct 10 2014 2:58pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

MADRID – Spain’s national training centre for football coaches says it has lodged an official complaint with the country’s federation over Zinedine Zidane coaching Real Madrid’s reserve team without having the required qualifications. Miguel Galan, president of the centre, told The Associated Press that the complaint was presented Aug. 28. He said he was told on Friday that Spain’s federation has given Madrid 10 days to present its response. Madrid announced in June that Zidane, who pla ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 

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