Bartra deserves to see El Clasico action

With Gerard Pique doubtful for the Catalans, El Loco feels that Marc Bartra should be featured in the El Clasico this weekend after he has proven his worth time after time.


Give young Marc Bartra a break, Barcelona.

Just gamble and unleash the 22-year-old in the much-anticipated El Clasico against Real Madrid at Nou Camp on Sunday (12am, Malaysian time).

Barca, still unbeaten after nine games in La Liga this season, are facing more defensive problems as established Gerard Pique is doubtful for this first Clasico of the season. He is down with a hamstring strain.

Manager Gerard 'Tata' Martino, understandably, is thinking deeply with his options on who to take over if Pique is out.

The Argentine knows the heart of defence has to be tightened if they want to send Real home empty-handed.

It also must be said that Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria are in awesome form. Barca must be well prepared.

The encouraging news for Barca is that veteran Carles Puyol is available after a long lay-off because of a knee injury. He may be 35 years-old but his vast experience is handy in a big game like this.

Puyol is poised to start if Pique is not fit. The question now is who will be Puyol's partner?

There is Javier Mascherano, a defensive midfielder by nature. However, the Argentine was not impressive in the 1-1 Champions League draw with AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday.

He even admitted it was his fault for the goal scored by Robinho.

Mascherano, who had just returned from an injury, may not be ready to handle the responsibility of stopping Real's attacking unit led by Ronaldo.

So why not Martino just gamble and play Bartra instead?

Bartra is eager to see action and what an experience it's going to be for the centre-back to have the chance of playing in a big match like this in front of 100,000 fans.

Bartra, a product of La Masia, knows how to position himself well. He is good in making quick decisions too.

He does not take risks and only goes forward when it does not jeopardise the defence.

Bartra is able to get the ball out and adds considerable strength in the air. He is capable of scoring as well, as proven by the two goals so far in his senior career.

The defence aside, there is this big chance of the 21-year-old Brazilian sensation Neymar making his El Clasico debut for the Catalans.

Barca need the gifted Neymar to help them penetrate the Real defence led by Sergio Ramos.

With Lionel Messi, he can surely create havoc against Los Blancos.

Neymar, himself, is looking forward to play and expect him to try and produce his best so far since joining Barca in the summer.

So will Messi and Neymar be partners?

It's going to be either Pedro or Alexis Sanchez, who was impressive for Chile in the recent 2014 World Cup qualifiers. They are expected to receive assistance from Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.

Who will prevail in the end at Nou Camp? It will be a close match but Barca are unlikely to lose all three points in a thriller that cannot be missed.

Here is another interesting development which will leave Arsenal supporters fuming.

According to British newspaper Daily Star, Barca want to start negotiations with the Gunners regarding Jack Wilshere.

The Catalans are planning to get Wilshere as a replacement for veteran midfielder Xavi.

Wilshere's contract in London ends in 2018. Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, will have a tough time to see that his star remain at the Emirates. If the report is for real, that is.