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La Liga - Week 21 Fixtures - 26-29th January, 2018


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Friday 26th January, 2018
Athletic Bilbao vs Eibar

Saturday 27th January, 2018
Deportivo La Coruna vs Levante, 12.00
Valencia vs Real Madrid, 15.15
Malaga vs Girona, 17.30
Villarreal vs Real Sociedad, 19.45

Sunday 28th January, 2018
Leganes vs Espanyol, 11.00
Atletico Madrid vs Las Palmas, 15.15
Sevilla vs Getafe, 17.30
Barcelona vs Alaves, 19.45

Monday 29th January, 2018
Celta Vigo vs Real Betis, 20.00

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10 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

At first glance this confused me as I thought Barcelona were going to play ter Stegen in goal and Cillessen up front xD

Alaves should be tricky customers but given some of the wins that Barcelona have pulled off in the past couple of weeks you'd expect no less than three points - especially with everyone playing so well of late and the arrival of Coutinho. For me, this is how I'd like to see the team line up;

Suarez

Coutinho - Messi 

Alba - Rakitic - Sergio - Iniesta - Semedo

Pique - Umtiti

ter Stegen

 

These games are testers in the sense that due to form a team can feel that this is a done deal before a ball is even kicked.  So far this season Valverde has managed to keep the team concentrated enough to take every single game seriously and with maximum respect for the rival.  But now with such a massive points lead and the Champions League around the corner, players can lose focus.  Also let’s remember that Alavés beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou last season in La Liga.

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1 minute ago, Cannabis said:

The defeat to Alaves last season was down to Enrique using mass rotation too early in the season (wasn't it Gameweek 3?). With a full strength squad Barca shouldn't have any problems but as you say, complacency can't become and issue as on their day anyone can upset anyone in La Liga.

Deportivo Alavés have had a terrible season this campaign until “El Pitu” Abelardo took over where they’ve been much more competitive... Keep an eye on Abelardo because he could be a future Barcelona coach! ;)

Indeed Luis Enrique was partly to blame last season and not just in that game where mass rotation in in question. He over rotated and the second string also didn’t respond last season, at least not like Real’s second string when called upon.  In that game against Alavés in the third fixture of the season was definitely down to rotation and also I would say that the team thought it was a done deal because of who they were playing and also the home factor.  The display was lethargic and a mark of how La Liga was lost because in the big games (in La Liga) Barcelona responded and it was games like that all the way through that cost the title.

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8 minutes ago, Stan said:

Coutinho starts :D. Got a feeling he'll open his scoring account today too.

Digne starts too. Is Jordi Alba injured? @SirBalon @The Rebel CRS 

 

Jordi Alba needs to be looked at with these injuries he gets because he’s needed as he’s been having probably the best season since he joined Barcelona from Valencia.

As for Coutinho starting... Great news and can’t wait to see how he combines with the midfield and the front guys.

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what an end in the Sevilla vs Getafe game!!

Getafe pile on the pressure and eventually equalise in the 93rd minute! 

Sevilla feel there was a foul on the keeper (there wasn't). Rico drops the ball and it's tapped in by Angel. Scenes.

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FFS. 1-0 to Alaves. Guidetti scuffs his shot on to his standing foot and it goes in at the near post. Messi lost the ball on the edge of their box and within 3 passes Alaves break free. 

Poor showing so far from Barca :( 

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Disappointing from Messi so far but a free-kick just before half-time, expertly saved from Pacheco, seems to have burst him in to life. Need to get up a few gears in the 2nd half. A goal before HT would be great. 

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Alavés played a great game and I’m not so sure they deserved to lose although Barcelona really did run the, over in the second half and there could’ve been at least another two or three goals for Barça.

But the first half was fantastic from Alavés and they should’ve gone into the break two up.  Alavés’ goal from John Giudetti was hilarious though because he didn’t mean to do what he did and actually wanted to go across goal which was the wrong choice and would’ve either been saved because Ter Stegen was perfectly positioned or shot wide.  Ter Stegen’s face was a picture of fun too because he saw straight away the fortune Giudetti had when he shot and it cannoned off his other foot while on top of that he slipped.  But Alavés as a team functioned brilliantly and we’re top draw defensively... Abelardo Fernández has them coached very well indeed and if things go well for him this season I can see him getting a top job if he wants it because he’s a bit of his own man being an Asturian and he may decide that this is the sort of thing he likes coaching those diminutive clubs.

Great victory for Barcelona in the end and it nearly went like it did last season. I bet all those Real Madrid fans and sympathisesrs were ready to start on their trollololol on social media. xD Their fingers were itching to start and the minutes weren’t running down quick enough.

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12 minutes ago, El_Loco said:

Alavés was robbed.

Robbed? In what way? 

They played well, admirably so. Not gonna take that away from them. 

But it's not like the Barca goals were lucky or that they shouldn't have been given? 

2 bits of quality ultimately were the difference. 

Alaves had their chances to score more than one. 

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6 hours ago, Stan said:

Robbed? In what way? 

They played well, admirably so. Not gonna take that away from them. 

But it's not like the Barca goals were lucky or that they shouldn't have been given? 

2 bits of quality ultimately were the difference. 

Alaves had their chances to score more than one. 

I think he’s talking about the fact Suárez’ goal seems to strike Piqué’s hand on the way in and the penalty call by Umtiti is seen in some quarters as an error by the ref.  The Madrid based press have been quick to pump that up because they couldn’t believe what was happening and they really want to believe in miracles while the other press does question the decisions but aren’t as adamant.  It all depends (in this case) on how you see things...

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Leo Messi created more magic yesterday and we even had the postage stamp free-kick goal to crown it all off.  But in Spain they’re talking about one particular move that may have gone unnoticed but had ex-footballers in awe at the apparent difficulty of everything surrounding the seemingly simple move.  They’re calling it “breaking Sobrino’s waist” (Rubén Sobrino, Alavés player). Ex-Atlético Madrid legend Kiko Narvaéz went on about the move for full on 20 minutes.

 

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30 minutes ago, Stan said:

@SirBalon thoughts on Celta Vigo vs Real Betis tonight?

Got a feeling it'll be a tight game, probably end in a draw. 8th vs 13th but only 1 point between them. Mixed form for both clubs. 

I would expect Celta to win this one although they’ve both had their ups and downs. Both also have their respective coaches that believe in the right way to play football. I love Quique Setién but these are the types of games he’s been failing in and doing brilliantly in the big ones. 

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10 hours ago, SirBalon said:

Leo Messi created more magic yesterday and we even had the postage stamp free-kick goal to crown it all off.  But in Spain they’re talking about one particular move that may have gone unnoticed but had ex-footballers in awe at the apparent difficulty of everything surrounding the seemingly simple move.  They’re calling it “breaking Sobrino’s waist” (Rubén Sobrino, Alavés player). Ex-Atlético Madrid legend Kiko Narvaéz went on about the move for full on 20 minutes.

 

 

I remember a move against Sporting Lisbon in about 2008 where he did this body feint which was unbelievable.

 

 

0:30

 

This was a decade ago now(and he was doing things for years before this) and he's still providing magic of this nature to this today. He isn't just notching up stats and scoring goals, he hasn't become a dull player to watch and he has continued to bring joys to the game. He will never change in this regard.

 

On another note, Suarez just keeps scoring. That's now 8 league games in a row and he seems to always score at the important moments. Suarez back to his best is vital. He's the best number 9 in the world and when he's on song with an on song Messi, that alone is enough to win games that you may otherwise not have won. The full backs, Alba and Sergi Roberto, entering the field also made a big difference and Iniesta stepped his game up big time in the second half, especially with his involvement in the first goal.

 

 

 

Edited by The Rebel CRS
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5 minutes ago, The Rebel CRS said:

 

On another note, Suarez just keeps scoring. That's now 8 league games in a row and he seems to always score at the important moments. Suarez back to his best is vital. He's the best number 9 in the world and when he's on song with an on song Messi, that alone is enough to win games that you may otherwise not have won. The full backs, Alba and Sergi Roberto, entering the field also made a big difference and Iniesta stepped his game up big time in the second half, especially with his involvement in the first goal.

 

 

 

this was the difference for me, yesterday.

Could see the team up their game when both came on, especially Alba. I know they had to chase the game but immediately they were all syncing up like they had done for majority, if not all, of the season. Alba has been superb so far. Mentioned it before in other match threads but the chemistry between Alba and Messi is great. So profitable right now.

Regarding Suarez, it's incredible the difference between the start of the season and now. Like when Real Madrid beat Barca at the start of the season, some had lost faith in Barca and thought it would be a foregone conclusion for the rest of the season. When Suarez was off form, no doubt some football fans thought he was past it and that Barca should get rid. he's proving those doubters wrong right now. In some of the best form of his life I'd say. 

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