Preview: FC Barcelona vs Malaga (game 38 liga 2012/13)

barcelona 2-2 malaga alexisThe 2012/13 season comes to an end tomorrow evening as champions Barça take on Malaga at Camp Nou. The game in itself means very little to the two teams though Barça do have the chance to equal the record points total of 100 set by Real Madrid last season. However, the occasion will no doubt be extremely emotional as it will be the last occasion to see Eric Abidal as a Barça player.

villa 9Besides Abidal there are other players who could also be making their final appearance for the club tomorrow. While there is still no official news it seems highly unlikely that David Villa will continue next season. Villa played a vital role in the successes of the 2010/11 season when the MVP forward line became our standard. He continued to perform well until his injury at the Club World Cup in December 2011 and many would say that his absence was one of the main reasons that Barça failed to win either La Liga or the Champions League last season. Having recovered from his injury Villa seemed to be finding his form at the start of this season when his goals per minute ratio was very impressive. However, it seems the lack of opportunities began to frustrate him and despite a couple of excellent games against AC Milan and Rayo Vallecano his form over the last few months has been disappointing. A new challenge at a new club will probably be the best move for him though for Barça it will mean losing not just the best Spanish goalscorer of his generation but also a genuinely top bloke.

valdes 22The other name on everybody’s leaving list is Victor Valdés. Since his announcement in January that he did not intend to extend his current contract which expires in 2014 there have been all kinds of speculation about his future and possible replacements. This morning Valdés broke his silence by giving a press conference where he made it clear that he is sticking by his decision. There was no confirmation of an intention to leave this summer as he stated he would continue to defend Barça’s colours until the end. However, he stated that he is open to any solution that is beneficial to the club and to him so the possibility of a sale this summer is obviously still very high. Unless the club can secure a top replacement then I feel we would be foolish to let him go this summer. Personally, I like Ter Stegen more and more but I would be very disappointed if we sign Pepe Reina.

So with sale of neither Villa nor Valdés officially confirmed it seems the only official goodbye at tomorrow’s game will be from Abidal. Following his emotional press conference yesterday (watch the translated version in English here) it seems quite likely there will be a tear or two shed again.

Talking of shedding tears, I’d just like to say how sad I was to see that Leo Messi has been using his time to do embarrassing modelling shots for a well known fashion company. Leo! you do not need to do this. You don’t need the money and you certainly don’t need tarnish you image in this way. Please leave this type of thing to the Beckhams and Cristianos.

Possible starting XIs:

Barça: Valdés; Alves, Piqué, Abidal, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Alexis, Fabregas, Villa.

Malaga: Caballero; Gámez, Lugano, Weligton, Eliseu; Camacho Toulalan; Joaquín, Isco, Baptista; Saviola.

Prediction: Barça 3 Malaga 1

Date: Saturday 1 June 2013. Kick off: 7 pm local time.

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5 Responses to Preview: FC Barcelona vs Malaga (game 38 liga 2012/13)

  1. barcacentralomer says:

    @Nic: Is it the limited transfer funds or is it normal for Barca to be sluggish during the real transfer season? Shouldn’t we have finalised who we are going to get in and which players we are going to offload during the summer by now. If the likes of Villa,Afellay and perhaps Valdes are to be sold, then we should have at least sold one or two players so that we can use the proceeds to fund our CB and GK acquistions.

    Similarly I’m a bit disappointed with the way we seem to be treating some of the reserve team guys like Muniesa, Fontas, JDS and Gerard D. Apparently Muniesa is being let go when perhaps we could have given him a year and a season long loan at a decent club to see if he could develop into a top player in the coming years. Fontas is not as I understand considered good enough to be at Barca and so should be sold ASAP but JDS and Gerard D do need playing time and if they can’t get it here, I’m pretty sure first team action via loan spells will help them much more than playing for a reserve team. The status of Rafinha and Sergio Roberto is also unclear because with the likes of Xavi,Iniesta,Cesc and Thiago, it’ll be extremely difficult for them to get playing time on a regular basis next season and they’re both far too good to be playing for Barca B.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      I’m sure some decisions have been made but until the season actually finishes it is unwise to announce who we want to sell. If the club publically says Villa or Valdés, or anybody for that matter, is not wanted then it reduces our bargaining power.
      I’ve also been unhappy about the way the youngsters have been managed. Let’s hope some decent loan deals are arranged.

  2. barcacentralomer says:

    @Nic: Regarding the Valdes situation, I don’t think it’d really benefit the club to retain a player who has his heart set on leaving next year. His looming shadow from the Barca dugout will IMO be an unwelcome distraction for any new keeper and may lengthen the adjustment period for the latter. Even from a financial viewpoint, we’ll be carrying a player for an entire season who will be let go for free. However, I do think the new No 1 (unless we decide to continue with Valdes for next season) should be brought in ASAP.

    I don’t know if we’re going all out to land Ter Stegen or adopting a cautious but defensive approach in getting Reina, I still think the likes of Mignolet and Begovic could be another strategy since they’re both very good, still relatively young from a GK perspective and improving (unlike Reina who has peaked) and they won’t cost as much as Ter Stegen either who is still an unproven commodity at a big club.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      It seems probable that Valdés will be sold this summer but if he does stay I have full confidence that his heart will be in defending Barça until the end.
      As I said before I have no problem on spending money on the best possible replacement for Valdés. It seems impossible to get De Gea from Man Utd so I think we should go all out for Ter Stegen.

  3. barcacentralomer says:

    Btw Germany seems to have a GK factory somewhere because its not just Ter Stegen. In addition to him and Neuer, there are quite a few superb keepers over there like Adler, Kevin Trapp (also in his early 20s) and Weidenfeller.

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