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Primera División

  • April 7, 2012
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadio de la Romareda, Zaragoza
  • Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
  • • Attendance: 24000
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FT
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Zaragoza - Barcelona Preview: The Catalans travel to La Romareda to face relegation-threatened side

Pep Guardiola's side continue their pursuit of Real Madrid at the top of the table as they face an in-form Manolo Jimenez outfit


PROBABLE LINEUPS
REAL ZARAGOZA

Roberto
Lanzaro, Da Silva, Paredes, Abraham
Ruben Micael, Zuculini
Barrera, Garcia, Lafita
Postiga
BARCELONA

Valdes
Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano
Thiago, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Fabregas, Sanchez

Manolo Jimenez has a number of injury worries going into the match on Saturday evening against Barcelona. On-loan Malaga man Apono is a doubt after missing training on Tuesday because of back pain.

Other absentees for the clash include David Mateos, who has a muscle injury, and Luis Garcia, who also missed the session due to a fever. The 31-year-old may recover in time for the weekend. Pablo Alvarez did not train on Tuesday after been given a leave of absence by coach Jimenez.

Pep Guardiola conducted training on Wednesday morning, with the players involved in the AC Milan win taking part in recovery exercises. Ibrahim Afellay and Eric Abidal took part in the session, but the Dutchman is still working towards a return after his knee injury at the start of the season. Abidal should be undergoing a liver transplant in the coming weeks while Gerard Pique will likely miss out through a thigh injury.

Xavi started the Champions League match midweek so it is likely he will be given a rest as the Catalans travel to La Romareda, with Thiago Alcantara being drafted in.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • The last match between Zaragoza and Barcelona saw Pep Guardiola's side record a comfortable 4-0 victory with Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and David Villa on target for the Catalans.
  • Manolo Jimenez' men are on a terrific run of form at the moment, notching up 10 points from their last four matches, which included victories over Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
  • Zaragoza's top goalscorer this season is Helder Postiga, with seven goals in 23 appearances.
  • Lionel Messi broke another record in midweek. He is now the top goalscorer in a single Champions League season with 14 goals.
  • In La Liga, Barcelona have accumulated the staggering 86 goals, while Zaragoza have netted 27 times
  • Messi alone has scored more goals this season than the whole squad of the Aragonese team.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
12RobertoGoalkeeper
-Pablo ÁlvarezDefender
3ParedesDefender
14Paulo Da SilvaDefender
21MineroDefender
24Ivan ObradovicDefender
17LafitaMidfielder
17Rubén MicaelMidfielder
20Franco ZuculiniMidfielder
22A. PintérMidfielder
9Carlos ArandaStriker
-Leo FrancoGoalkeeper
6Maurizio LanzaroDefender
8Edu OriolMidfielder
26Juan CarlosMidfielder
-Tomislav DujmovicMidfielder
23Hélder PostigaStriker
17Pablo Edson BarreraStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
21AdrianoDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
-Seydou KeitaMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
2MontoyaDefender
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
5BusquetsMidfielder
23CuencaStriker
37TelloStriker
Players to Watch
Hélder Postiga
Hélder Postiga
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 1 0
Zaragoza's top goalscorer this season will need to be at his determined best in attack if the hosts are to get anything whatsoever out of the match. He must aim to stretch the Barca defence with runs in and around the penalty area.
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
3 2 0 0
Lionel Messi continues to break records every week and he may have the freedom of La Romerda to work his magic as he plays against the third-worst defence in La Liga. A brace or a hat-trick is certainly not off the cards for the Argentine.
Prediction
Zaragoza's recent form may indeed be impressive but a match against the Catalan side is the last thing the hosts would want as the run will likely come to an abrupt end. Barcelona have won every La Liga match since the beginning of February and expect nothing less than a continuation of this run at La Romareda.
Editor's Prediction

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