Preview: Betis vs Barça

Barça play Betis tomorrow night (10pm kick off) at the Benito Villamarin in Pep Guardiola’s last league match as first team coach. Guardiola has only fifteen first team players available, Pinto being the latest casualty with a sprained ankle though he should be fine for the Copa del Rey final in two weeks. Youngsters Oier, Tello, Bartra and Montoya travel to make a squad of 19 for the game.

Neither team has much to play for which is why the game has been brought forward to Saturday night. These games can sometimes lack intensity but on the positive side both teams like to attack so with nothing to lose we will probably see an open game with plenty of chances.

Leo Messi will of course be hoping to add to his already unbelievable 72 goals this season. In the Liga Messi has a stunning 50 compared to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 45 so the pichichi is more or less wrapped up. However, considering the remarkable season from both players perhaps five goals from Ronaldo against Mallorca on Sunday is not completely impossible so a couple more from Messi tomorrow will do no harm.

With Pinto injured Valdés will return to the team which has the negative side of putting the zamora goalkeeper award in danger. Valdés has conceded 26 goals in his 34 matches this season (0.76 per game), if he concedes three tomorrow then Iker Casillas (30 goals in 36 games, 0.83 per game) would take the prize if he keeps a clean sheet against Mallorca.

The individual awards are all well and good but, let’s be honest, they don’t quite get the pulse racing like a must win game. If the Betis game doesn’t grab you then what do you all think about the possible new signings? The names of Gareth Bale and Jordi Alba keep appearing as possible left backs for next season and I have to confess I like Bale a lot though he would be much more expensive. The central defenders mentioned such as Thiago Silva and David Luiz would also cost a lot and we may have a difficult task this summer finding the right player to reinforce this area. The other main necessity would seem to be a striker. This week of course everybody is talking about Radamel Falcao but I think it is extremely unlikely that Barça would bid for him. His team mate Adrian Lopez has also been mentioned and while he seems more suited to Barça’s style it is difficult to see him as more than just a squad player. The other big names being talked about are Gonzalo Higuain, Robin Van Persie and Fernando Llorente. Of these three I would most like to see Higuain who would surely score plenty; Van Persie I’m not so sure about, on his day he is great but he has had a lot of injuries and can be a bit temperamental; Llorente would be a good signing but again I would see him more as a squad player and someone who could give us a change of plan in difficult games.

Let us know what you think.

Barça 19 for Betis: Valdés, Oier, Alves, Montoya, Bartra,  Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Keita, Xavi, Thiago, Iniesta, Fabregas, Pedro, Messi, Afellay, Cuenca, Tello.

Possible starting XI: Valdés; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano; Thiago, Busquets, Keita; Pedro, Messi, Afellay.

My prediction: Betis 2 Barça 4

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9 Responses to Preview: Betis vs Barça

  1. FCB-Parbo says:

    In a game with nothing to lose I think Oier should start. Why put the zamora for Valdes in jeapardy. Just for Valdes sake, there is no harm doing that. In the last la liga game, here’s hoping for a Messi hattrick. It would also be nice in the last game for The Mister in la liga. Sniff sniff, I will miss him A LOT! Hope to see him in the stands enjoying the matches as a fan. All cameras would point right at him then.

    Anyway, about new signings. I love Bale, but after Inter he hasn’t done much, mind you he was also injured. But, he is young and has the speed on the wing side so that is a possitve thing. I really believe that he can improve at Barca. Alba is too short as a defender for us. We suffered a lot at corners for lack of height. In general we need defenders not strikers. We have plenty of them. Although I would like to have Higuain in our team, but in no way Mou would give his approval for that.
    Man, typing on a phone is so difficult.

    Goooo Messi!!!
    Visca Barca!!!

  2. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    1) Gareth Bale – Certainly not a wise choice for ‘LEFT BACK’. I don’t know why many of us failed to realize that Gareth Bale hardly plays as a left back or left wing back any longer. He is best suited for the left wing or attacking midfield role, both positions that we certainly do not need critical reinforcement. Trust me, the idea of 2 wing backs flying up and only 2 CB’s doing most of the defending is a very silly one. This would certainly destroy the balance in the team. there has to be atleast 3 defenders 65-70%% committed in defending with 30-35% freedom to go forward only.

    2) Besides that, i’d like to mention again that the idea of signing Thiago Silva for around 30M is not at all a waste of money IMO. Firstly, whoever says Thiago Silva won’t make the CB partnership alongside Gerard Pique is really either due to too much love for Puyol or just purely ignorant. Thiago Silva is a massive CB. Think Mascherano with aerial strength and much more power. Puyol has always been my favorite just like some of you here, however we have to realize that the guy doesn’t have much age on his side. We’ll need a reliable guy to take the main CB role alongside Gerrard Pique. That perfect match will certainly be Thiago SIlva. And in a defence of three Mascherano, Thiago Silva and Pique will be totally unbeatable. We’ll have speed, power and tackle all at the back. Back-ups such as Abidal, Puyol and Batra are also amazing. our defence should be pretty good.

    Did you guys know that Thiago Silva is also a pretty good free kick taker??

  3. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    That apart, there are certainly other options available at cheaper prices if we are looking to find reinforcements for our backline such as Jan Vertonghen
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Vertonghen

  4. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    the guy is young, tall, could play in 3 positions (LB, CB, and DM), pretty comfortable with the ball, has the height, decent defending ability(can be groomed), good free kick, very comfortable at roaming forward. Could be purchased for around 6-12M (quite a steal IMO) With this buy, i could imagine he’ll take turns with Batra, and some of our available youth to play at the back alongside Mascherano or Pique. Good competition for starting position,,,great potential.

  5. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    about the striking position, i like Falcao, but i think Adrian could be what we need better. The guy is more versatile, capable of scoring 15 goals and above in a season. Much cheaper. Can create as well. could play on the right or left apart from the central striker position. More versatile and obviously going to be cheaper than Falcao. However, i’d like to see Llorente in our team more than anybody else upfront. One, he has the height for a killer Cuenca cross. 2) He makes a great plan b. 3) he could actually pass the ball pretty damn well. 3)he has much better workrate and attitude as compared to a certain ‘donkeyface’ =D

  6. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    The only problem that i have heard about Llorente is in regards of his fitness that has been quite and issue this season.

    Besides transfers, i’f heard Luis Enrique is about to leave Roma. Is he by any means coming back to Barca????

  7. bc9jaCulé says:

    Good preview there. Should be an entertaining match as nothing’s @ stake. Since Madrid, Messi has scored 2, 3 & 4 goals simultaneously in subsequent matches. Going by that sequence, would it be too much to expect a 5-goal thriller from him tomorrow? Well, like FCB-Parbo once said, “everything is possible for the impossible”.

    As for transfers, I’ll go for Bale & Silva as reinforcements in defence while I’ll settle for Falcao/Higuain (if possible) as an addition to our attacking force or better still, a swift conversion of our own Pedro as our goal getter in attack. Good luck to the board with regards to the summer transfers.

    Visca Barça!!!!!
    Força Barça!!!!!

    • FCB-Parbo says:

      He he! You go sir, then I’m with you here. Yeah ” everything is possible for the impossible”. Like that a lot!

      Visca Leo!!!
      Visca Pep!!!
      Visca Barca!!!

  8. mjmare says:

    Lets give Guardiola a great send off in his final La Liga game…

    I wouldn’t risk the Zamora, therefore give Oier a game in goal…

    Barca 3-0

    Bale is a much better winger than a LB, and only really started playing great when Redknapp brought him forward. I think it would be ludicrous to have Both Alves and Bale as wingbacks, it would help with the attack, but would leave us exposed at the back.

    With Nesta and a whole host of legends leaving Milan, Milan won’t want to sell anybody least of all their best player. So we should focus on other defensive targets. Rumours are that Vertongen wants to go to Spurs but Franck De Boer rates he would do well at Barca and at about 10m he would be good value as he is versatile… Buth with Bartra, Montoya and Muniesa promoted from next season I can’t see us signing any defenders.

    We don’t need any attacking players, with Afellay reagining match fitness and Villa back next term, our attack is fine, although Higuain would be great – can’t see it happening though, see him going to either PSG or Juventus. We just need more luck with injuries…

    Any idea who will be assissting Tito next year? wonder if Luis Enrique will come back to Barca after he decide to leave Roma at the end of the season… Though I doubt it. Maybe he’ll be back in the future.

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