Barcelona Vs Osasuna – Jan 12 4pm EST

Osasuna FC Barcelona

Osasuna – FC Barcelona

Reyno de Navarra 01-12-2012 22:00 or 4pm EST

Tune in for the second leg of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey match tomorrow. With a comfortable lead, and Iniesta and Alves out, Barca will likely try to come out strong and put the game away early in order to pull some starters and coast to victory.

This sets up another set of Clasicos next round as Barcelona will face Real Madrid in a battle for the only trophy they did not win last year. VAMOS BARCA!!!

FC Barcelona vs Espanyol

Lionel Messi will be looking for his first ever away goal at Espanyol as Barca takes on that “other” team from Barcelona. Espanyol is a very difficult team to beat at home, but Barcelona should have everyone available for the game except Villa. Regardless this will be one of the most difficult games for Barca until they meet Real Madrid again, and if they let Espanyol hang around the game could get very complicated. Look for Messi and Fabregas to try to combine in the first 25 minutes to put the game at ease.

Espanyol vs FC Barcelona  (1-28-2012 at 330 EST)

FC Barcelona vs Osasuna – First of the year!

Barcelona face Osasuna in a Spanish Cup match on Wednesday at the Camp Nou. Even though Barca thrashed them at earlier in the season, Barca historically struggles after international breaks when playing in the league. The lower table teams tend to be made up of mostly Spanish players, who enjoy the holidays at home while Barca has players on extended vacations from all over the world. Messi and the Brazilians are just returning from Christmas vacation in South America and we will see how that factors into this game.

In addition Barca has several injury questions, with Abidal sick and Iniesta and Puyol still getting over minor muscle injuries. It is possible that Guardiola will rest them in addition to Messi and Alves as they also missed much of the training leading up to this match.

Regardless, Barca will still have a strong squad to pick from and are expected to win this game easily.

Fc BARCELONA vs OSASUNA January 4 2012 4PM EST

El Clasico Approaches- Barcelona Vs Real Madrid

Less than 24 hours until the two giants of European football battle in what will be much more than just a game. Here’s a video to get you excited.

After last year’s clasico, Bill Simmons posted the mailbag with an excellent entry on the game:

The mutual hate that Barcelona and Real Madrid have for each other transcends anything I’ve seen in American sports. Is there a rivalry in American sports anywhere near as impassioned as the one between these two teams?

His answer: No. Not even close. Barca-Madrid bloodbath featured 90 minutes of high drama, an incredible winning give-and-go goal by Messi in the final minutes to win it for Barca, then a last-minute, scissor-kick cheap shot by Madrid’s Marcelo on pricey Barca addition Fabregas that nearly started a full-scale brawl. You couldn’t have asked for more from a two-hour sporting event. If you enjoy the World Cup every four years, you will really enjoy every Barca-Madrid game. It’s just a fact.

A few reasons why this is the case. First, these two teams stand alone in the Spanish league, only meet twice year, and measure their greatness only by beating each other. Nothing else that happens in the season matters if you win El Clasico. Second, the division between Madrid, the capital of Spain, and Catalonia, the autonomous community in which Barcelona divides, provides more history and back story than anything in American sports. Over 1000 years of history and hostilities still remain fresh in the citizens of this area, and the game is literally a clash of language, culture, and nationality. So how is this not lost on someone who, being American, has no allegiance to any part of Spain? The players. The are fueled by the animosity of the fans and culture they defend, and when they wear the colors of their home side, all of that transcends onto the field. So much so that the all of the players from both teams ( who make up a majority of the Spanish national team) were threatening to bring the entire team down.

(http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/columnist/hunter_graham/id/6614419/is-spanish-national-team-house-divided-graham-hunter-soccer)

That’s saying a lot for the best Spanish team ever, that had just come off winning the Euro 2008 and the World Cup.

And the final reason why this is such a huge rivalry. Well, I don’t even have to say it.


Add two players, who if they played in different eras would have easily been the king of their class, but instead coexist on the same field. Imagine seeing at the same time Pele and Maradona, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady, Babe Ruth and Micky Mantle. That’s what football fans get to see twice a year now, and that’s why El Clasico trumps any other rivalry in sports.

Barcelona Vs. Levante (Preview)

With El Clasico looming on Dec 10th, Barcelona have one more chance with their full squad to prepare (the midweek clash at Bate will feature some B team players as Barca have already finished top of the group).

Pep has recently been featuring a 3-4-3, and I expect that to be the case here if he intents to use that against Madrid. An experimental line-up, but the pieces seem to be falling in place for it to work. Lets just hope its soon enough.

Levante is the surprise club of La Liga and will not be a push over. If Barca makes the mistake of looking too far ahead to Madrid, Levante are more than capable of making them pay. However, playing at the Camp Nou has meant invincibility so far this year, and I expect Barca to continue that streak in a close match.

Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano (Preview)

Mid week clash with a mid-table team. Expect Barca to bring back Iniesta or Cesc in this match, and to start with Pedro in forward. Rayo Vallecano is the epitome of average this season, with 15 goals for and 15 against landing right in the middle of all the statistics.

I’d like to see Villa or Pedro get on the score sheet and get some confidence heading into the start of December’s run of games. Sanchez also has the possibly of starting but I expect Cesc to start over him if he is fit. Messi needs help, and Sanchez was unable to deliver in his last start.

Prediction: Barca’s Camp Nou excellence will continue as they calmly dispatch another team at home