Squad news

TWO LINEUPS FOR BARCA

04 Dec 2009
Lotina still deciding the lineup to be used against Barcelona, he has two different alternatives and will choose the final scheme during this day. Juca still appointed as a possible starter.

On Thursday the squad just completed a massage session and it will be until this day that Miguel Angel Lotina is going to choose the starting eleven that will be used against Barcelona FC (Saturday, 22h00 CET). In the beginning the Basque coach has decided to keep the 4-3-3 figure, but there are two variants.

The first one involves the introduction of Juca at midfield; the Brazilian has been out since the home game against Villarreal (matchday 05) due to a thigh problem, but by Wednesday he was looking fine and fit to play after completing the two training sessions and as he played in the friendly game with Fabril (1-1). His irruption at midfield will mean a triple pivote figure as he will join Sergio and Antonio Tomás.

In this way Juan Rodriguez will be free to play on the right wing, something that could be an important aid for Manuel Pablo in order to contain the game of Henry, Iniesta or even Pedro. More interesting seems to be the ‘duel’ at the other side of the pitch, with Guardado and Filipe battling against Messi (if he plays) and Daniel Alvés.

The other alternative for Lotina is to present a similar scheme to the one used against Racing Santander, this means a 4-3-3 scheme with two playmakers playing behind Riki, the only novelty would be the appearance of Guardado replacing injured Lassad, while Mista could keep his place in the starting eleven occupying the other playmaking spot.

In this last choice, Juan Rodriguez moves his position to midfield and joins Sergio and Antonio Tomás, leaving Juca sited on the bench. No matter the scheme to be used, what’s clear is that Lotina will keep the same defensive line, with Colotto and Lopo at the centre, and Filipe and Manuel Pablo at the sides.

At Barcelona, the doubts remain about who will play at the Riazor. On Wednesday the Catalan team presented a grey spectacle though it achieved a 2-0 win at Xérez. Coach Guardiola rested Ibrahimovic, Messi and Iniesta, though the trio entered in the second half.

The media in Catalonia is clueless about the intentions of Guardiola for the Riazor, and the coach just said after the game that, “We still have to face five or six matches before Christmas and we play for a lot in those matches. This is a step forward, because on Saturday we play against one of the best teams in la liga. We have won, clearly we didn’t match our level, and we will have to wait for other game in order to see if we want to be champions.”

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/09

ZAPPING

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