Preview: Barcelona tries to get back to winning ways against Bilbao
Mathematically it will not be possible for Atlhetic Bilbao to reach the top three, but they will at least have a chance of getting very close. Sunday they make a trip Camp Nou, where they take on a frustrated Barcelona squad.
After their elimination from the Champions League against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona was defeated in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona. They are now seven points back of the league leaders, but with a game in hand.
Barcelona’s defeat mid-week against Real Madrid was their third consecutive defeat, which is the first time in 11 years.
It’s always a big occasion when these two clubs lock horns, especially when it’s a cup final. Historically this fixture has arguably provided football fans with more exhilaration than any other match in Spain and the game between the two sides always lives up to the expectations.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have already met twice this season and on both occasions the match has ended in favour of the Catalans. However things might turn out to be different this time around with Barcelona on a disappointing run which has seen them loose both of their last two matches.
The second Clasico of 2014: The Copa del Rey Final will be played at the neutral ground of the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain.
The Spanish Cup Final - El Clasico - will air on April 16th, 2014 at 3PM EST / 12 noon PST. The match will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN (english), ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio (spanish). You can also tune into the match online in both English and Spanish languages on WatchESPN (authenticated users only).
El Clasico always attracts global attention due to the intense Spanish rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. This match is even more signficant since Barcelona have just recently been kicked out of the UEFA Champions League and have very likely just seen their La Liga title hopes slip away with their most recent loss this past weekend, leaving them in third place behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. This might be Barca's only chance at silverware this season as well as Carlo Ancelotti's first chance for silverware with Los Blancos. The world will be watching. See broadcast details below for US television, radio and online coverage of El Clasico 2014, the second of the year:
ESPN NETWORKS : SPANISH CUP FINAL 2014 TV PROGRAMMING
English Language Programming:
ESPN Copa del Rey Final Coverage: (Check ESPN Listings)
Spanish Language Programming:
ESPN Deportes Copa del Rey Final coverage: (Check ESPN Deportes Listings)
Unlike ahead of the first Clasico of the year 2014, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not in top form. Leo has gone missing lately while CR7 is out injured. So which players will leave a mark on the game?
Two stars under pressure to perform are Neymar and Gareth Bale. Both completely rocked the 2013 summer transfer window and are expected to justify their astronomical price tags. Indeed, the stage has been set for Neymar and Bale to strengthen their rivalry and overshadow, at least for a day, the mouth-watering Messi-Ronaldo clash which cannot take place in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.
Preview: Forgetting the negative news surrounding the club is key for Barcelona
The La Liga campaign is coming to an end, but things just do not get any easier for the Blaugrana. After their injury blow to Victor Valdes, the Catalans are now facing a transfer suspension from FIFA.
On top of a possible suspension, Barcelona drew mid-week at home against Atletico Madrid, in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. A wonder goal from Diego put the visitors ahead, but Neymar slotted a ball past the Atletico goalkeeper, but that was all the hosts could do.
FC Barcelona’s 2013/14 pre-season campaign was tarnished with tax fraud allegations against Lionel Messi. As if it wasn’t enough, the mighty Spanish club was then accused of transfer fraud concerning Neymar’s move away from Santos. The intensity of this transfer issue led to the resignation of Sandro Rosell as club president in January.
Problems continue to hurt Barca under new president Bartomeu. On Wednesday, the Catalans were slapped with a two-transfer window ban for “illegal buying and selling of players under 18” according to FIFA.
However, Barcelona vice president Javier Faus is certain that “enemies” are behind all the controversies to fall down the club.
Speaking to the Spanish press on Thursday, Faus boldly declared:
Preview: Barcelona can go top of La Liga, before their rivals take the pitch
Just a week ago, claiming the La Liga title looked very difficult for Gerardo Martino. After an important victory over Real Madrid, and three points mid-week against Celta Vigo, the Blaugrana are ahead of the Merengues, and just one point back of Atetico Madrid.
On Saturday, Barcelona will be without Victor Valdes. The Spanish goalkeeper was stretchered off against Celta Vigo, and was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.
Preview: Barcelona will want to avoid a let down after their important El Clasico victory
An emotional rollercoaster at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday ended well for Barcelona. Three goals from Messi helped lift the Catalans over Real Madrid, and they will now have a chance to go top of the league, given Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid's late kick-off.
Luis Enrique, a former Barcelona captain, will prepare his side for a very difficult match at the Camp Nou. Enrique has been linked with the managerial position at Barcelona, but the Catalans opted to go with Gerardo Martino. And despite all the doubt involving the Argentine's future at the club, Barcelona's president as well as Martino have stated publicly that his contract will be honored.
Enjoy the broadcast of Real Madrid vs Barcelona in live streaming on your mobile, computer, or TV with beIN Sports. LiveSoccerTV has an exclusive list of compiled live listings from Canada, UK, USA and the world.
Over 140 zones have been covered so whether you are located in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America or elsewhere, you may be able to find where to stream the game live this Sunday. Simply visit El Clasico’s match page for full details.
The previous meeting ended 2-1 in favour of Barca. Messi and Ronaldo’s presence was overshadowed by Neymar’s dream debut in El Clasico and Alexis Sanchez’s wonderful long-range strike.
Preview: Osasuna will try to distance themselves from the relegation zone
A mid-week victory over Manchester City should propel Barcelona to a positive result on Sunday. The Blaugrana were beginning to come under fire, but their performance on Wednesday will have silenced even a few of their doubters.
They will take the pitch on Sunday with a seven-point gap between themselves and league leaders Real Madrid.
Second placed Atletico Madrid also won their match on Saturday, putting them four points adrift of the Catalans. It will now be Barcelona’s job to cut that lead down with a victory over Osasuna at the Nou Camp.
Preview: Camp Nou to witness a battle of wounded warriors
On Tuesday night in Munich, Arsenal became the first English team to crash out of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League. Manchester City are on the brink of an exit as well. They will need a miracle at the Camp Nou but how possible will it be, knowing that they carry the wound of their shocking loss 2-1 to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup?
The two protagonists ahead of Wednesday’s showdown are Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. Either of the two Argentines may decide the game. Between them, there have been eight goals. Aguero had to miss the first leg as he was recovering from injury. His return in the UEFA Champions League has been greeted with much talk.
Preview: Sabella looking to finalize squad for World Cup
Wednesday’s fixture will allow coach Alejandro Sabella to take a final look at all his players before he decides as to who will make the trip to Brazil for the mega event. One player who is expected to not make the squad is Juventus forward Carlos Tevez.
The former Man City striker last featured for La Albiceleste in the 2011 Copa America quarterfinal and has been overlooked for the national team since the arrival of Sabella in August 2011.
Preview: Barcelona has a chance to makeup points
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will square off earlier in the day, which gives Barcelona a chance to gain some points on one, or both of their rivals. The thought of Almeria coming into the Nou Camp and grabbing points from the Catalans is hard to believe, but as we saw in Barcelona's last match, anything can happen.
Last weekends 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad caught many by surprise. But with Barcelona still set to take on Real Madrid later this month, Tata Martino believes that his side has the title race in their own hands.
Preview: Barcelona have not won at the Estadio Anoeta since 2007
Tata Martino's squad responded well to critics and doubters on Tuesday, when they defeat Manchester City at the Etihad. They will now have to turn their attention to La Liga, where they will be trying to break a streak of winless matches.
Saturday's meeting between these two clubs will be the fourth time they have gone head-to-head this season. This La Liga match will also be the Catalan's second visit to Basque Country in 10 days.
Their last meeting on February 12th ended in a one goal draw, but the Blaugrana already had a 2-0 aggregate lead. Messi gave the visitors the lead in the first half, but a goal from Griezmann in the 87th minute gave Sociedad something to smile about.
Preview: Manchester City want to show their coming of age
Manuel Pellegrini has helped guide Manchester City beyond the Champions League Group Stage, but he now faces a more difficult task. The Chilean manager has his squad competing on four fronts this season, but getting past Barcelona may be his toughest task since his arrival at the Etihad.
Free-flowing offense has City scoring loads of goals, despite an occasional slip-up here and there. They are currently third in the Premier League standings, but they have a game in hand.
Preview: Neymar returns after his injury against Getafe
All the attention around Barcelona has been focused on their upcoming Champions League match. While a meeting with Manchester City promises to be an entertaining affair, the Catalans will first need to get by a Rayo Vallecano side that are in the relegation zone.
Tata Martino’s side jumped back into the top spot of the league standings, taking advantage of a slip-up from Atletico Madrid.
Saturday’s match will mark the return of Brazilian star Neymar, who has been out with an ankle injury since January 16th. But despite his return, he is likely to only see some minutes in the second half.
Preview: Barcelona are 90 minutes away from meeting Real Madrid in the final
A 2-0 victory over Sociedad in the first match was far better than Barcelona's performance. The Catalans were not at their best, and it was very clear in the second half.
Martinez was sent off in the 44th minute, and Barcelona played the entire second half with a man advantage. In normal circumstances, the Blaugrana would have put the game beyond any doubt, but a strange own goal was all they had to show for that second half.
Sociedad will now welcome the La Liga leaders to Anoeta, where they have been impressive as of late.
Preview: Chance to go top again should be extra incentive for Barcelona
Barcelona will head into Sunday’s match away to Sevilla knowing that a victory could put them back in the lead. Although Real Madrid defeated Villareal on Saturday at the Bernabeu, front-runners Atletico Madrid were unable to grab points away to Almeria.
Tata Martino’s men will now try to grab three points from a Sevilla side that has only won five matches at home, from a total of 10.
Sunday’s match will be the first time in over a year that Barcelona take the pitch in league play, out of first place. With that said, Martino will have to make some adjustments to his squad.
Preview: Barcelona should be motivated to bounce back
Real Sociedad will head into the Camp Nou facing a difficult challenge. The Txuri-Urdin are coming off a four goal thumping at the Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid, with put the Madrid side at the top of the La Liga table.
The hosts will be equally frustrated on Wednesday, after their disappointing performance at the weekend.
Playing at home is normally a very good chance for the Blaugrana to win, but Valencia had other ideas. Los Che scored three goals, more than any other team has scored at the Camp Nou this season, and defeated Tata Martino's squad.
Preview: Barcelona with a chance to put pressure on their rivals
Saturday's afternoon meeting between Barcelona and Valencia will give the Catalans a chance to pull three points ahead of Atletico Madrid. The bad piece of news for Los Che is that they have lost their last six visits to Camp Nou.
With only two goals in six matches when visiting the Catalans, Juan Antonio Pizzi's men are going to have to put together a very good performance.
Barcelona come into the match on great form, having won three straight, after their one goal draw away to Levante. Tata Martino's men followed that draw up with a 4-1 victory over that same Levante in the Copa del Rey, and finished them off mid-week at Camp Nou with a 5-1 drubbing.