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Real Zaragoza vs Barcelona Preview

April 14, 2013 By Mike Goncalves
Real Zaragoza is 18th in the La Liga, forcing them to try and earn points as often as possible, with just eight matches remaining.

Barcelona's mid-week performance against a confident and promising PSG side may not have been their best, but at the end of the day, the Blaugrana booked their ticket into the next round. Knowing Bayern Munich is the next team in their way of a European Championship, Tito Vilanova's squad will have to focus on a Zaragoza side who will have no pressure on them Sunday.

The hosts have not managed to win a match in 2013, with their chances on Sunday not looking very promising. Their last victory came in December, when they defeated Bilbao away from home. A match against the current leaders of the La Liga may not be an ideal match to climb out of the relegation zone, but if anything, it should bring the best out of some of their players.

 

Manolo Jimenez will know that he is far from a favorite in this match, but being able to call on any of his players should give him a good chance of putting out their strongest squad. Ruben Rochina will finally return to the squad after being out due to what is rumored to be personal issues.

Barcelona will have to protect their 13 point lead without Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano. With both out due to injury, Bartra could get the start along side Pique, but Vilanova may opt for a different approach as he did against PSG.

As the season comes to an end, Barcelona is still battling in the Champions League, forcing Vilanova to rest players more often.

Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta will likely get rested on Sunday, while Busquets will be out with a minor muscle strain. Messi's late entrance in the PSG match showed Barcelona's desperation given the Argentine's lack of full health, but this match will be another good opportunity for him to get some rest.

 

Previous Meetings

11-17-12 Barcelona 3-1 Zaragoza

04-07-12 Zaragoza 1-4 Barcelona

11-19-11 Barcelona 4-0 Zaragoza

03-05-11 Barcelona 1-0 Zaragoza

10-23-10 Zaragoza 0-2 Barcelona

03-21-10 Zaragoza 2-4 Barcelona

 

Prediction

Zaragoza 1-2 Barcelona


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