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Discussion about European club leagues, Champions League and anything in UEFA
Wanderer
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Stuttgart are dangerous, but Barcelona are lethal. A few goals and wham bam thank you maam, game over..

shahensha
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Considering Barca's injuries and stuttgart's ridiculously threatening form, it will be a tough game.

Also I really believe these draws are rigged. First an awkward reunion for ibra and inter, eto'o and barca, kaka and milan, jose and inter, beckham and man united..........now its hleb and barca.

Jeez CL, enough with these reunions.

I hope barca make good progress though.

EDIT: Apparently xavi and alves are included in the trip to stuttgart so not all hope has diminished atleast.

Met
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I'll be happy with Saturday's team. Hopefully at the back they won't make as many dangerous mistakes as Stuttgart will take their chances.

Shahensha, it would be ludacris to risk Alves and Xavi, if they are not fit, to try and win the tie at Stuttgart. Rather bring them back to Camp Nou with a full strength Barca team with a an away goal or two.

soccer11
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soccer11 wrote:Kind of changing direction, how do you guys think the CL game this week will play out? Not many people are giving Stuttgart much of a chance but I think they're dangerous and could spring the upset.
ah almost called it. I wish I could've seen the game though, sounds like it was controversial.
Seems like wherever Barcelona go, controversy always follows :P :)
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klc123
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Stuttgart deserved the win to be honest, i watched it and Barcelona played the worst they have played in a very long time.

The midfields presence was non-existent, going forwards they were struggling to keep the ball nevermind thread passes together and messi was completely off the side of the earth.

Stuttgart on the other hand looked like scoring on multiple ocassions, especially in the first half.

Barcelona were very lucky to get the away goal, and its going to prove to be very fortunate for them as i cannot see stuttgart having a chance in the Camp nou.

mustahfa14
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Yea I agree Klc. They did not look threatening at all! stuttgart did a good job defensively. Barcelona did have 72% of the possesion, but it doesn't matter unless you do something with it.

barcelona will advance though..at least that is the best choice

shahensha
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The possession domination is part of the game plan. The opponents chasing around the passes, get tired by the second half, which was when Barcelona appeared to have a better vantage in the game. However, any team with equal quality and finesse would have slapped us around by the first half.


I dont really see much into it though. Last season, all of Barcelona's away legs ended up in 1-1, having to produce a come-back. Its in Camp Nou where they turn on the style.

klc123
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Well i think that if stuttgarts players had better finishing the half time score could have been atleast 4-0.

Barcelona had the majority of possession, but that only tells half the story, whats the point in been able to pass the ball between your defenders and goalkeeper when you can't even get the midfield/attacking players involved without losing the ball. And it wasn't like they were stopping stuttgart from winning the ball either, multiple occassions the back four lost the ball to a attacking player carelessly and were incredibly lucky to not be penalized, but thats just football i guess.

Either way, barca are through.

Evan
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I was sure they'd go 2 up when Cacau got back inside the 18 and passed to Khedira who should have had a 1 touch open net goal but he somehow fu**ed it up
On a different note everyone's pretty good with women when it comes to hookers... well except the sham-wow guy.
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shahensha
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klc123 wrote:Well i think that if stuttgarts players had better finishing the half time score could have been atleast 4-0.

Barcelona had the majority of possession, but that only tells half the story, whats the point in been able to pass the ball between your defenders and goalkeeper when you can't even get the midfield/attacking players involved without losing the ball. And it wasn't like they were stopping stuttgart from winning the ball either, multiple occassions the back four lost the ball to a attacking player carelessly and were incredibly lucky to not be penalized, but thats just football i guess.

Either way, barca are through.
I already said that except in a demeaning way.

The team as a whole performed poorly. The poorest was Busquets, who only started playing after the second goal was scored, and even then he played with annoying irregularities.

Busquets is the reason behind the dip in form. Him getting more playtime over Toure is not helping Barca's midfield at all. The pivot is the most important player in possession football, which i am hoping will be given back to Toure.

Besides, the team suffered a similar dip during this time of the year last season. Losing to Atletico, drawing against betis and having to muster a comeback and tie against Lyon in France. The return leg told a different story and Barca was back to being Barca.

i say the same will happen, as long as Toure is given consistent starts.

panchester07
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shahensha wrote:
klc123 wrote:Well i think that if stuttgarts players had better finishing the half time score could have been atleast 4-0.

Barcelona had the majority of possession, but that only tells half the story, whats the point in been able to pass the ball between your defenders and goalkeeper when you can't even get the midfield/attacking players involved without losing the ball. And it wasn't like they were stopping stuttgart from winning the ball either, multiple occassions the back four lost the ball to a attacking player carelessly and were incredibly lucky to not be penalized, but thats just football i guess.

Either way, barca are through.
I already said that except in a demeaning way.

The team as a whole performed poorly. The poorest was Busquets, who only started playing after the second goal was scored, and even then he played with annoying irregularities.

Busquets is the reason behind the dip in form. Him getting more playtime over Toure is not helping Barca's midfield at all. The pivot is the most important player in possession football, which i am hoping will be given back to Toure.

Besides, the team suffered a similar dip during this time of the year last season. Losing to Atletico, drawing against betis and having to muster a comeback and tie against Lyon in France. The return leg told a different story and Barca was back to being Barca.

i say the same will happen, as long as Toure is given consistent starts.
I heard the same thing.. from some Spanish "experts".. They where assurring me that this dip is unpurpose or atleast planned.. They used the same example you used about how they lost or tied to Lyon, lost to Atleti, and drawn Betis.. They where saying how its impossible for a team to play 100% all year round, so the level declive is something un purpose..

Maybe not, but what is true is that no team can play top form all year, not even this team so they had to lower their level sometime.. They will obviously pick it back up...

Messi has played the last 10 games completely I think, isn't that too much ??
to know Him is to want to know Him more"


"i don't know where the limit is, but I know where it is not"

Tocar y moverse y tratarla siempre muy muy bien..'

Met
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Team News v Malaga:
Toure and Marquez dropped. Busquets given the pivot role. I wonder what Pep sees in him. I think he's a cry baby and plays in bursts. Abidal still out. Dani back in.

I'm predicting a narrow goal winner if at all for Barca. Malaga only beaten once in 14 games.

Johan Cruyff (or Cruijff if you are Dutch) came out with some strong words, saying Barca are playing sh*t. Worst time for them to be doing this with RM form getting better.

panchester07
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Messi is playing in the middle right?

Pedro on the left wing and Maxwell on the Right one?

Barcelona are creating wonderful opportunities the last 15 min(the ones I saw), and playing beautiful football.. Xavi is a genius... They just have to polish their finishing..

Barcelona could have had a few goals in already. Unlucky.
to know Him is to want to know Him more"


"i don't know where the limit is, but I know where it is not"

Tocar y moverse y tratarla siempre muy muy bien..'

shahensha
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I dont know what the expert's theories are, but i am putting the blame on the form decline over Busquets starting instead of Toure.

Dont get me wrong, Busquets is a good player. With him as the pivot Barcelona is in the top of the league and scored almost 80 goals overall so far. On the other hand, when Toure started as the pivot, barca had scored over 100 goals around this time.

Toure brought a whole new dimension to the midfield. His soft touch and control made him an easy third target in the triangle for xavi and iniesta. He allowed the midfield to be absolutely dominating.

Busquets appeal was his one touch football. He always made runs in the midfield, created spaces and kept the ball moving quickly with his first touch play. Now he is holding on to the ball and slowing the ball movement down.

Even though Pep doesnt understand this, I am perfectly sure the players do from what I have seen today. From the get go, Busquets was the first person to lose the ball. From the 5th minute, the whole midfield and defence of barcelona just ignored Busquets when he offered himself for a pass, despite being open and less than 10 yards away from them each time. He barely touched the ball. That is a disgrace for a pivot.

He had just become invisible. Because of him drifiting away from the game, Messi spent majority of the time in the middle as a CAM, dictating the tempo of ball circulation along with xavi and iniesta, while setting up numerous chances for ibrahimovich, pedro and iniesta.

Busquets only started to play well after the goal was scored. Before that he was nowhere to be seen.

Many experts will also point towards the lack of a left winger ever since Ronaldinho departed and especially now, since Henry doesnt seem to care much anymore when speaking of Barcelona's decline in form.I really dont see any worry in that. After, messi and ibra, the highest scorers are pedro and keita. Both those players are oriented on the left side of the field.

Also Pedro is a maginficient youngster. His ability to play on both wings, his pace, his dribbling and especially his goal scoring ability make him an excellent replacement for Henry. All he lacks is experience. He can score long distance goals too, like the one tonight.

Toure really needs more starts for an assured victory and improvement in form.

With Real Madrid breathing down Barca's neck, the team cant afford to rest their vital players.

Messi is extremely important. He proved his worth by having a man of the match performance in the middle tonight, constantly threatening the defence with his dribbling and through balls. Also, ofcourse scoring the winning goal.

Even xavi and alves who had just come back from injury where given 90 minute starts right away, which helped greatly because those two were involved in the build-up to the winning goal.

The xavi-messi-alves and xavi-messi-iniesta triangle is absolutely important for barca's attack. Lose one of those players the the whole team attacks differently.

2brown347
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Doesn't the dip in form match up perfectly with the increase in injuries? I know players are coming back but I'm sure once the squads health is 100% they'll be playing better

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