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Primera División

  • March 17, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: José Luis González González
  • • Attendance: 68197
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Barcelona-Rayo Vallecano Preview: Catalan giants target fifth straight win over Franjirrojos

Barcelona-Rayo Vallecano Preview: Catalan giants target fifth straight win over Franjirrojos

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Buoyed by their stirring fightback against AC Milan in the Champions League, the Blaugrana welcome Paco Jemez's side to Camp Nou hoping to extend their excellent home form


Barcelona captain Carles Puyol could be sidelined for up to a month after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday.

Xavi (hamstring) and Victor Valdes (suspension) also sit out Sunday's clash, but youngster Marc Bartra is available after overcoming a knee problem.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas and winger Alexis Sanchez may return to the line-up after starting on the bench against AC Milan in midweek.

Rayo boss Paco Jemez will be without suspended trio Jose Manuel Casado, Javi Fuego and Leo Baptistao.

Mikel Labaka has returned to training following an ankle injury but is not match fit, while fellow defender Jordi Amat is available after serving a one-match ban.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Barcelona are on a nine-match winning run at Camp Nou in La Liga.
  • The Catalan giants will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals, with the first leg to be played at Parc des Princes on April 2.
  • Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has scored 13 goals in his last 11 appearances for Barcelona.
  • Rayo Vallecano are on a four-match winless run away from home in La Liga, losing three.
  • Los Franjirrojos have lost their last four meetings with Barcelona by an aggregate score of 19-0.
  • Rayo's last win over Barca at Camp Nou was a 2-0 success in May 2000.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
3PiquéDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
21AdrianoDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
5BusquetsMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10MessiStriker
-OierGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
15BartraDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
25Alex SongMidfielder
7PedroStriker
37TelloStriker
25RubénGoalkeeper
2TitoDefender
4Alejandro GálvezDefender
-ArbillaDefender
25Jordi FiguerasDefender
23Adrián GonzálezMidfielder
30José CarlosMidfielder
10PitiStriker
17TrashorrasMidfielder
25Alejandro DomínguezStriker
-Andrija DelibasicStriker
1CobeñoGoalkeeper
2Jordi AmatDefender
-Nacho MartínezDefender
20Franco VázquezMidfielder
-IsiMidfielder
20Raúl TamudoStriker
27LassStriker
Players to Watch
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
3 2 0 0
The Argentina captain was at his brilliant best as his two first-half goals inspired Barcelona to a 4-0 rout of AC Milan in the Champions League round of 16. Messi will look to add to his 53 goals this season and help increase Barca's 13-point advantage at the top of the Liga table.
Andrija Delibasic
Andrija Delibasic
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Montengro forward is likely to lead Rayo Vallecano's attack at Camp Nou in the absence of the suspended Leo Baptistao. The visitors will look to make the most of Delibasic's ability in the air as they go in search of a first win at Camp Nou in over a decade.
Prediction
Barcelona dispelled doubts about their form in spectacular fashion against Milan in midweek and they will now look to put together a run of wins and wrap up the Liga title as soon as possible. Rayo are not great away from home and they are also missing some key players.
Editor's Prediction

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