Barça go out tonight looking for a bit of revenge, but much more importantly 3 more points. Hércules, the newly promoted team from Alicante, are the only side to have taken all 3 points against us in the league, at Camp Nou no less. On the night, we fully deserved to lose. I think lots of our stars were suffering from World Cup hangover, and the necessary focus was never apparent on that night. However, that was way back on September 12, 2010.
Hércules have not won in 2 games, but, both were away from home. They actually boast quite a strong home record with 5 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses in the 9 games played in the José Rico Pérez stadium. In fact, their last defeat at home was way back on October 30, 2010 when they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid. Since then they are 4 and 4 at home.
The club however has had some pretty bad press in recent times. That whole business with Drenthe was really unpleasant. After not being paid his wages in over 5 months, Drenthe left the club and went back to Real Madrid. When he did so Hércules fans went to his home and left very racists messages including a KKK. Furthermore, on the first home game after he left, there were more racists banners and also ones saying “Mercenary”. Frankly, its ridiculous. How people can behave like that after THEIR club refused to meet THEIR legal obligation to pay an employee his salary. Its really quite sad this club had to endure such stupidity from their fans, because for the most part they are quite likeable. They play an attractive attacking brand of football and host a few big names like Trezeguet and the Paraguayan Valdez. Those that follow the Premiership will also know Noe Pamarot, who was at Tottenham Hotspur.
I’m actually really looking forward to this game, and I have a suspicion the players are also. I’m not really the kind of guy that believes in revenge and what not, but it will be nice to beat the team that maybe gave us the most embarrassing loss during Guardiola’s reign. Injury wise Puyol is nursing some tendinitis in his knee, and Bojan and Jeffren are also out. As a result, Nolito and Fontàs have travelled with the first team. On a positive note, Alves has recovered and he is likely to start. Abidal will most likely move in the middle with Pique, with Maxwell taking on the left. Otherwise I think the team will be the regular Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi ; Pedro, Villa, Messi.
Enjoy the game guys.