Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Barcelona faces quandary
by Paul Kennedy, November 24th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[GAME OF THE WEEK] When Barcelona opened its Champions League defense two months ago with a 0-0 tie at Italian champion Inter Milan, it would have never thought it would be facing elimination in the rematch on Day 5. That's the situation Barca finds itself when it hosts Inter Tuesday at the Camp Nou (TV: Fox Soccer en Espanol, live, 2:30 pm ET; Fox Soccer Channel, delay, 7 pm ET).

A loss at home to unfancied Russian club Rubin Kazan and a tie on the road left the Spanish club in third place in Group F with two games to play -- and in a quandary about how to approach Tuesday's day.

Does it risk Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi, suffering from hamstring and thigh injuries, respectively, against Inter Milan or does it leave them on the sidelines and risk being eliminated with a loss to Inter?

"We won't know until tomorrow," Coach Pep Guardiola said Monday. "We are doing all we can for them to be available."

With its top-of-the-table clash against Real Madrid looming on Sunday, Barcelona is not in a position to be at less than full strength. (Besides Messi and Ibrahimovic, defender Eric Abidal and midfielder Yaya Toure are out with the HINI flu.)

Guardiola insisted Barca can win without one or both stars up front.

"Whoever plays," he said, "we are all in it together and I don't know why we can't win without them. But you always notice it when you are without your best. We have two games left and we need four points. Every team has a chance but it is in our own hands."

Barca and Inter will know the result of the Rubin-Dynamo Kiev game before they kick off Tuesday in Barcelona, and Inter isn't in such good position that it can afford a loss, either.

"We know that if Rubin win and we win, Barca will go out," says Inter coach Jose Mourinho, "but that can also happen to us. It could be that Rubin and Dynamo go through and Inter and Barcelona are left to fight it out for a UEFA Cup place."

Barcelona's suddenly precarious position has overshadowed the return of Samuel Eto'o, who will play his first game at the Camp Nou since leaving for Inter over the summer.

"[Eto'o] will get the reception he deserves, and he deserves a good one," Guardiola said of the Cameroonian, who won two Champions League titles with Barca. "The fans understand the player was not responsible for his exit, his coach was."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Trade Central: Friday's deals    
After two disastrous years in England, Brek Shea is back in MLS, signing with expansion club ...
MLS lines up exciting tripleheader for first Sunday    
MLS will open its 2015 season on March 6 when the defending champion LA Galaxy hosts ...
Video Pick: Alex Meier on Fire     
The leading scorer in the Europe's highest scoring league is a player you may not have ...
What They're Saying: Chris Wondolowski    
"I'm not over it. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. [Pause] I actually think ...
U.S. U-20s win at San Pedro Sula    
San Pedro Sula is no easy place to play as the USA (2-1 loser in the ...
Press and Lloyd combine for all seven in U.S. win    
After a tie and loss in its first two games at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
What They're Saying: Juergen Klopp    
"He took a wrong turn at some point. But everything is back to normal now. He ...
TV Report: MLS expansion teams ink local deals    
As expected, New York City FC has entered into a multi-year agreement with YES Network, while ...
Timbers land Wake's Vidovich to run T2    
The Portland Timbers, who dipped into the college ranks to get head coach Caleb Porter, have ...
Veterans in demand as Re-Entry Draft concludes    
Stage 2 of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft offered up fair doses of everything, as did ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives