Sunday, November 22, 2009

"El Clásico"

So, a big football week this week - at least for "El Clásico" participants: FC Barcelona & Real Madrid. Barcelona have a massive mid-week game against Internazionale prior to the game, and after this weekend's "La liga" results, Real are finally top of the league table - after a very very long time.

Could it be that the tables are actually finally turning? The ridicule of getting knocked out to a 3rd Division club (Alcorcón) seems like the past, and Pellegrini has led the team to the best start of a season (in the league) in 17 years. Real have obtained 28 out of 33 available points and are the team with fewest goals conceaded (joint).

Barça have just lost Yaya Toure and Eric Abidal to the swine flu, Messi is not currently match fit, and Zlatan's Ibrahimovic is having some physical problems as well. This tied in with mid-week game against Inter (where Barça must at least draw to still be able to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League - they are currently third!), alongside the unavailability of some players, as well as the poor draw agains King Cup challengers Athletic Bilbao over the weekend, means that Barça will not be reaching "El Clásico" at a great moment.

Real on the other hand, have not been as some call it "having fun" with their football - however they have been more consistent than their arch-rivals. The mid week game for them is against a substantially inferior opponent as is FC Zurich. Even though the game will take place in Barcelona, in the Camp Nou - Real will be heading there with not a lot to lose, but a great deal to gain. Even if their 1st position is changed after the game, the season is still very long, and they will have plenty of opportunities to turn this around again. Add all of this to the boost that returning Cristiano Ronaldo will have an impact on the team itself, the football, the individual skills, and the team morale - this simply means that for once, Real could actually stand a chance - and a game like the last one (where Real lost 2-6 at the Bernabeu) will not be repeated.

Ladies & Gentlemen, (actually only gentlemen) place your bets on "El Clásico" - the countdown is on...

And BTW, to all Thierry Henry supporters (after stealing a spot from Ireland for a spot in the World Cup 2010)....

But for those who actually have a sense of humour (specially the Irish themselves) visit:

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