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Next Match: Real Betis,away

Barça is still four points behind Real Madrid,who will play against Sevilla on Sunday (hope Sevilla can beat them…).It won’t be easy guest,especially because it’s still unknown where will the match be played, but I believe Barça can win.

Things about stadium…

Vicente Calderon stadium

The Spanish Football Federation have dictated that Saturday’s match between Betis and Barça will take place in Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium. Betis had appealed against their stadium being closed after the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Armando was hit by a bottle two weeks ago, but the Appeals Committee rejected their appeal and the Federation have told Betis that the game will now take place in Madrid.
To complicate things more Betis have appealed again, this time to the Committee of Sports Discipline, so Barça can still not be sure of where they are travelling to tomorrow and may have to change route when they are already travelling.

This SFF decision is supposed to be a move against football violence,but they are probably making it even worse by putting four groups of fans in the same city .They really are making a tremendous mess of the whole thing. Betis have already been punished by having the result of the game with Athletic stand (1-2) despite it being suspended after 70 minutes. They have also been fined €9,ooo. The idiot who threw the bottle was arrested and will supposedly be punished for what he did. Admittedly, there was a similar case two years ago when Juande Ramos was also hit by a bottle at Betis, but when they are isolated incidents caused by one person, the collective punishment seems to me to be totally unfair.

Anyway…
Carles Puyol has recovered in time from the injury he received playing for Spain on Wednesday, and has been included in Barça’s 18-man squad for tomorrow evening’s match against Betis (kick off 8pm). Giovani dos Santos and Santi Ezquerro return to the squad after injury. Giovani hasn’t played since the Villarreal game on March 9th while Ezquerro last played in the Copa del Rey against Alcoyano at the start of January. The negative side is that Gabi Milito hasn’t recovered in time but hopefully he will be fine for Tuesday’s Champions League game at Schalke.

betis barca

Betis have had an inconsistent season but they have improved a fair bit since losing 3-0 at Camp Nou in November. They beat Real Madrid 2-1 in mid-February and since then they have won two, drawn one and lost two.They are currently 13th in the league with 35 points.

Barça are once again stretched due to injuries and they will have to forget about the Champions League for now and concentrate on putting maximum pressure on Madrid before their game with Sevilla on Sunday. The defence should be the same as last week with the only doubt being whether Eric Abidal returns in place of Sylvinho. Yaya Toure will probably struggle on in midfield as he still didn’t take the operation. Up front we will see if Rijkaard continues with Henry or not after the Frenchman missed France’s victory over England due to back problems.

Barça’s squad: Valdés, Pinto, Zambrotta, Puyol, Thuram, Abidal, Sylvinho, Edmilson, Toure, Xavi, Victor Sanchez, Gudjohnsen, Iniesta, Giovani, Bojan, Eto’o, Henry, Ezquerro.

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