Squad news

THINKING OF BARCELONA

14 May 2011
Lotina only has two casualties for the game, but other three key players are dragging some problems that might complicate the planning for the match. Meanwhile, the rival is only thinking of celebrating the liga title.

Coach Miguel Ángel Lotina is pending on the status of Adrián, Guardado and Juan Rodriguez ahead of the visit to Barcelona FC (Sunday, Camp Nou, 21h00 CET). The trio is dragging physical problems since the past week and on Friday the three of them just completed part of the training session as a precaution measure.

However, the doctors expected that all of them will be fit to play on Sunday. At the same time, central defender Ze Castro hasn’t trained during the week due to a problem on his right knee (patellar tendon) and on Friday the Portuguese was put in the list of casualties for Barca’s game.

But it is short list after all, because left-back Claudio Morel (hamstring strain) and midfielder Juca (Soleus) are already recovered from their injuries and are available for the trip to Catalonia. The only player joining Ze Castro at the injury room is Antonio Tomás, the Cantabrian midfielder is close to surpass a quadriceps injury and it is expected that he will be ready for the last match on the season against Valencia FC.

About the lineup for the game, Lotina hasn’t tested yet any specific formation. Some journalist believe that he will make some changes, but that will keep the same 4-3-3 draw with Valerón at the centre and two strikers at his side. In this sense Lassad or Xisco are the main alternatives to claim the spot of Riki.

The big question is the lineup that coach Pep Guardiola will present for the meeting against Depor; the Catalans clinched their third liga championship in a row on Wednesday at the Ciutat de Valencia and have spent the last two days celebrating. On Thursday the players had a soft training and rested during Friday.

The fact is that the whole team had a luxury dinner on Thursday’s night at Hotel Vela and later the party continued until early in the morning in a popular night club at Barcelona. A lot of celebrities were there, from Colombian singer Shakira to former striker Samuel Eto’o. And on Friday’s evening the group made the traditional parade in an open-top bus through Barcelona's streets.

So, the team will return to train until Saturday; it isn’t know yet if Guardiola will reserve the usual starters for the UEFA Champions League final game in a fortnight, but the journalism in Catalonia is convinced that the lineup against Depor will be a mixture of players coming out from injuries, usual substitutes and even some youngsters from Barcelona B.  In this sense, Sport predicts that the lineup will be a mixture with players like Pinto, Mascherano, Fontàs, Abidal, Keita, Thiago, Afellay, Bojan, Jeffren, Barta plus Iniesta.

For the moment the only news are that Brazilian Adriano Correa is recovered from the hamstring strain injury sustained in the Copa Del Rey final match against Real Madrid, while central defender Gabriel Milito still out due to a muscular problem, finally captain Carles Puyol is still dragging a mysterious knee injury that will probably sideline him for the meeting against the Galicians.

ARCHIVE NEWS MAY/11

ZAPPING

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