Preview: Weak Real Madrid looking for robust win
Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to play one half of this game but it appears he will not spend a single minute on the field. Already, physios are trying to get him ready to face Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final next Wednesday.
Reports suggest Ronaldo may need a bandage under his knee to control the pain. Ancelotti has not ruled his biggest asset out of El Clasico yet, but it is certain that CR7 will not kick a ball this weekend.
“I had the same injury and I had to strengthen my knee with a lot of gym work with massages to reduce the inflammation,” Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos explained.
Preview: A must-win game without CR7
Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested. As reported on Thursday, the Portugal captain has a slight patellar tendon problem. Although victory is a must at the Anoeta this weekend, Carlo Ancelotti prefers to avoid taking risks with CR7’s health.
The Italian manager will have to count on hungry youngster Morata who netted an amazing curling goal against Rayo Vallecano last Saturday. Gareth Bale, whose synchronization with Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have broken a bit since the Clasico defeat, will be able to exhibit his freedom in the left wing and cut inside to shoot.
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.
Preview: Sad return to the Bernabeu for third-placed Real Madrid
The home crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu will be asked to multiply their voices and get behind the players. At such a tough period, the efforts of supporters are as much needed as the efforts of the players and the intelligence of the technical team. However, Marcelo who captained Los Blancos in the absence of red-carded defender Sergio Ramos against Sevilla believes that it is up to the players to make the first step and revive the spirits of Madridistas worldwide.
“We must apologise to Real Madrid's fans. We'll keep fighting,” he said following Real Madrid’s problematic 2-1 loss away to Sevilla on Wednesday.
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: Real Madrid’s spirit to be tested
Having failed to win any of their clashes against their closes rivals, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, Los Blancos find themselves in an extremely insecure situation. At the end of Matchday 29, they conceded the top spot to the Rojiblancos on a head-to-head basis, with both teams counting 70 points. The Catalans, meanwhile, are only one point behind.
The three-horse race remains tight for Real Madrid. With nine matches to go and only, they must overcome pressure to remain ahead of Barca and hope that Diego Simeone’s men drop a few points. Managing anxiety for Carlo Ancelotti and his men would begin with bouncing back from last Sunday’s controversial home defeat in El Clasico.
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.
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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: Roma set to welcome Francesco Totti back to the squad
The talismanic captain is set to feature during Monday’s encounter after missing out for over a month due to an injury he suffered in the Rome derby against Lazio back on the 9th of February.
The Italian’s timely return will be a major boost to Roma and Rudi Garcia has claimed that his captain’s return will allow the team to be more dangerous in the attacking third.
Preview: Parma look to consolidate European football at expense of ragged and wounded Milan
What a difference a season can make.
Last year, Parma finished the league campaign in 10th place, all in all, a good showing for a club of its size with 49 points. Milan, on the other hand, completed their topsy-turvy season in third, with their 70 points just enough to earn Champions League football at the expense of Fiorentina.
Preview: Giallorossi and Partenopei look to close gap on runaway leaders Juventus
Last time these two sides met, it was billed as a clash between two high-flying sides in which Roma was enjoying their best Serie A start to date. Fresh off trouncing Inter 3-0, the Giallorossi, inspired by talismanic captain Francesco Totti were on top of Serie A after winning their first seven matches.
They were to make it eight after powering past the Partenopei thanks to a Miralem Pjanic double but it was also in that game that Totti suffered an injury, thus nullifying his side's creative threat. As a result, Roma ground out tough 1-0 victories over Udinese and a determined and defensively minded Chievo before being held to four consecutive draws--the most surprising being with Serie A debutants Sassuolo.
Preview: BBC fired up to maintain Real Madrid’s lead in La Liga
The BBC was on fire in midweek. Gareth Bale scored a goal and gave two assists in Wales’ 3-1 win over Iceland. Karim Benzema was on target in France’s morale-boosting 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. Elsewhere, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo netted a brace in a 5-1 rout of Samuel Eto’o’s Cameroon. CR7 broke free of retired footballer Pauleta to become his nation’s all-time topscorer with 49 goals.
It’s all looking good for Real Madrid’s stellar forward line. In La Liga, Bale (10) tops Los Blancos’ assists chart whereas Benzema (15) and Ronaldo (23) have more goals between them than Barcelona’s top two highest goalscorers in the league, Sanchez (16) and Messi (15).
Preview: Bianconeri keen to wrap up Scudetto race against a potentially tricky opponent
Juventus and Fiorentina have a long and contentious history dating back to the 1981-1982 season when the Viola saw a second half goal discounted against Cagliari, forcing them to have to settle for a 0-0 stalemate. Meanwhile, the Bianconeri went on to win their clash with Catanzaro thanks to Liam Brady's second half penalty and their 20th league title as a result.
Anyway, history lesson aside, the last time these two sides met was certainly a day that Fiorentina's tifosi will remember for a long time. Not only was it the first defeat Juventus had suffered all season but also it was the first time that La Vecchia Signoria had conceded four goals in one match under Antonio Conte's reign.
Preview: Both teams looking to respond after defeats
Both sides finished in the top five last season but have been struggling to replicate their form this time around. Milan are positioned 10th in the league table and have lost thrice in their last five outings in all competitions. A Champions League defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid was followed by a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. But Milan failed to build upon their victory as Juventus subjected them to a 2-0 loss in the subsequent match.
Preview: Barcelona can reclaim top spot with a victory
Barcelona will return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Estadio Nuevo Jose Zorrilla to take on Real Valladolid. With the hosts currently in the relegation zone, any points are always welcome, but they will not have it easy against the Catalans.
Having had 13 members of his first team squad away on international duty mid-week, Gerardo Martino is not willing to use that as an excuse.
From the travel time, fatigue and lack of time to prepare for Saturday’s match, all of that can play into a player’s performance. But one important aspect that should lift the spirits of the visitors should be the fact that they could possibly reclaim the top spot in La Liga if Real Madrid fails to win on Sunday.
Preview: A good rehearsal for both teams, staged in Barcelona
Tunisia emphatically failed to reach Brazil 2014 last November. The goalless result of the first leg against Cameroon in the playoffs left them hopeful. However, the Indomitable Lions played with a lot of hunger back home and dismantled their opponents 4-1.
For the Tunisians, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will have to be followed on TV but Wednesday will offer them the opportunity to come up against a qualified team, Colombia.
The South Americans had a rather smooth World Cup qualification campaign. To prepare for their clash against African giants Cote d’Ivoire in Group C, Los Cafeteros will want to beat Tunisia without the help of injured striker Radamel Falcao.
Preview: Milan look to pull off a big upset at the San Siro
AC Milan and Juventus are two of the most historic clubs in Italy. Apart from all of that history, both sides are currently heading in two very different directions.
Juventus are the reigning Serie A champions, and they look destined to win the title again. Antonio Conte’s side has an eight-point lead over AS Roma, but with 13 matches remaining, the visitors will not want to drop points at the San Siro.
Ricardo Montolivo believes that his side has what it takes to embarrass the league leaders, as they did in November of 2012.
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: Nobody is invincible
Everyone at Real Madrid is fired up for Sunday’s exciting match up between Atleti and Los Blancos at the Vicente Calderon. This includes quiet manager Carlo Ancelotti who told the press:
“The Copa final was a final; the game in La Liga went well for us, and not so well for them. They arrived better at the semifinals and we must congratulate them. This Liga game will be different; both teams have a lot on the line.
“There are many games left, but it is true they could go six points ahead. We have always said it: we are going to go from game to game. We will go into the game as if it was a final, as we always do. They are very good in defence and in attack they have great individuals. But nobody is invincible.”
Preview: Roma poised to continue fine run against Internazionale
Inter Milan have recorded just a single win against the capital club in the last nine meeting between the two clubs with the last three matches ending in a victory for La Maggica. Owing to their current form the hosts will definitely be considered the favourite for the tie.
Rudi Garcia’s men second in Serie A, trail leaders Juventus by nine points and talismanic midfielder Daniele De Rossi among others is optimistic that the Old Lady will drop points in their coming fixtures.