Barcelona - Zaragoza Preview: Catalan giants target ninth straight win over Blanquillos
Tito Vilanova's charges will be keen to stretch their lead over Atletico Madrid at top of the Primera Division when they host the Aragonese outfit on Saturday evening
By Karthick Arvinth
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Song, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Villa
Zuculini, Loovens, Alvaro, Paredes
Rodriguez, Apono, Montanes
Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez picked up an ankle injury while on international duty with Chile and will miss the clash with Zaragoza at Camp Nou.
But club captain Carles Puyol has made a full recovery from the dislocated elbow he suffered in October and could start alongside Gerard Pique in central defence.
Alex Song (back) and Adriano (hamstring) are both doubtful to feature, while Sergio Busquets is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards.
Zaragoza, meanwhile, will be without defenders Cristian Sapunaru and Abraham through suspension.
Maurizio Lanzaro and Ivan Obradovic are still out injured, but midfielder Jose Mari could return from a knee problem.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona are on a four-match winning run in La Liga and are the only team to remain unbeaten in the league this season.
- The Catalans are on an 11-match unbeaten run at Camp Nou in all competitions.
- Lionel Messi (pictured right) needs seven more goals to overtake Cesar Rodriguez (190 goals) as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in La Liga.
- Zaragoza have won four of their last five matches across all competitions.
- Los Blanquillos have lost their last eight Liga encounters with Barcelona.
- Zaragoza's last win over Barca at Camp Nou came in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg in February 2007.
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Top 3 Predictions
Barcelona 5-0 Zaragoza
- 15.66 %
Barcelona 4-1 Zaragoza
- 11.29 %
Barcelona 3-1 Zaragoza
- 9.74 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||14 Apr 2013||Zaragoza 0 - Barcelona 3|
|La Liga (LIGA)||17 Nov 2012||Barcelona 3 - Zaragoza 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||7 Apr 2012||Zaragoza 1 - Barcelona 4|
|La Liga (LIGA)||19 Nov 2011||Barcelona 4 - Zaragoza 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||5 Mar 2011||Barcelona 1 - Zaragoza 0|
|17 Dec 2013||Barcelona 3 - F.C. Cartagena 0||ESPC|
|14 Dec 2013||Barcelona 2 - Villarreal 1||LIGA|
|11 Dec 2013||Barcelona 6 - Celtic 1||UCL|
|6 Dec 2013||F.C. Cartagena 1 - Barcelona 4||ESPC|
|1 Dec 2013||Athletic de Bilbao 1 - Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|12||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|
The three-time Ballon d'Or winner was not at his best as Argentina limped to a goalless draw against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The 25-year-old will look to put his midweek disappointment behind him and concentrate on increasing his goal tally of 76 in all competitions for the calendar year against Zaragoza.
The Portugal international is in a purple patch of form, having netted five goals in as many games for club and country. Postiga's movement in and around the penalty box could pose problems for Gerard Pique and the returning Carles Puyol.
Having let in nine goals in their last five Liga matches, Barcelona will hope the return of Puyol can stem the flow of goals conceded. Zaragoza have kicked on from last season under Manolo Jimenez, but the history books are not on their side ahead of this Saturday evening clash.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed