Spartak Moskva – FC Barcelona: Messi.By: Ramzi | November 19th, 2012
FC Barcelona 9
Spartak Moskva 3
The list above, tells you the current situation in the champions league group. From there on, you can make your calculations at will. You can dramatize it by playing all the results of the following two matches against all odds. But when you get nine points in four games and you still have one at home, buy popcorn and enjoy the show.
Yet, no one can say this match in Moscow will be a walk in the park. The match script is as predictable as Dailymail rumors. All teams read the same book of the 101 tips to contain FC Barcelona and apply it to the core. Regardless of the fact that when Mourinho applies it he is the genius, while when Celtic coach (who has no name) applies it –better- it is just the same plan copied from the “Defense notebook for dummies”.
So yea, you will have two rows of defenders making it tough for a breeze to pass through and tickle a candle flame held by the keeper. And the five times they’ll get the ball, they will try to flood Barcelona’s final third with enough players to turn counter attacks to goal scoring opportunities. And the more set pieces they get the better – for them.
But how will Barcelona play?
The most likely scenario is either to have Cesc in Pedro’s place, or in Xavi’s place, and then more of the same. But as usual, we try to be a bit more creative in this corner. So I will suggest the following selection:
Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Song, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Messi
In this selection, Song should not be considered as a second defensive midfielder but more a box-to-box midfielder. Having him in the midfield add a physical element Barcelona need in a match like this. He will definitely keep Xavi closer to Spartak’s defense third which offer him a better chance to generate more defense slicing passes. Song with Busquets, Puyol and Pique improve set pieces defense (or let’s be more accurate: They build set pieces defense from scratch). His runs into Spartak’s box can also do the trick and when he is more conservative, Alba and Alves runs will not be exposed by counter attacks. In short, he can Keita-te the selection. Something FC Barcelona missed dearly.
With Alba and Alves running on the flanks, Tito can afford structuring the other cards more central. I like seeing Iniesta playing as a ten behind Messi and Cesc. Now of course, Cesc will hunt back the ball to midfield especially that he was saved for this match and he is fully fit for the job. In this case the offense triangle will flip with Iniesta and Cesc playing behind Messi. And as usual, the more you keep Messi in the final third and save his energy for what he does best, the better.
After all, you can always get Pedro and Villa in where needed.
If Barcelona wins this match, there is a good chance they qualify for the following stage heading the group regardless of the last match result. That is always a good news. And who knows, maybe Abidal get a casual last minute presence in that match. Now save this thought when you go to bed, but be careful not to stay in bed for long tomorrow. The match will be played earlier than usual at CET 18:00. And the question is, can FC Barcelona make it on the freezing snowy fields of Russia and in daylight? Or will we admit the shocking truth that Russian league is way better than the Liga, while FC Barcelona being overrated goes –of course- without saying.
Only Messi can write that script…
Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- FC Barcelona – Spartak Moscow Champions league And La Liga match
- Champions League: FC Barcelona 3, Spartak Moscow 2, Or, Squeaking By…