Barca aim to stay on top of La Liga

Barcelona, Spain (Sports Network) – Barcelona heads into Saturday’s contest against Deportivo level on points with title rivals Sevilla, and will try to put the pressure on the Seville club with three points.

The Catalan side has been plagued by inconsistent play throughout the season, but is coming off of a resounding 4-0 win over Recreativo and is hoping to build on that result. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting in November, but that was when Deportivo still looked like a team that would challenge for a spot Europe.

Since that time, the club has gone on a poor run of play that has seen them drop to 12th in the standings, and looking like a team that is destined for a middle-of-the-pack finish. Goals have been hard to come by for Deportivo, who have dropped two of their last three games, and things will not get any easier against a Barcelona side that can score goals with any team.

Making matters worse is the absence of midfielder Javier Arizmendi due to suspension. Winger Sergio Gonzalez will be sidelined with an injury.

Barca manager Frank Rijkaard will have to do without one his top midfielders as well, as Deco will miss the game after having surgery on his finger. Mexican defender Rafael Marquez will likely sit out to get rest after serving Mexico in international competition, while strikers Javier Saviola and Santi Ezquerro are also not expected to play.

With three crucial points on the table on Saturday, expect Rijkaard to put out as strong a lineup as possible.

In other action on Saturday, Villarreal travels to Real Betis, last-placed Real Sociedad hosts Levante and Valencia, just six points off the pace at the top, entertains Espanyol.

On Sunday, Atletico Madrid continues to attempt to move into the top five with a home match against Mallorca, Real Zaragoza tries to retain its top-five standing with a win over Getafe and relegation-battling Gimnastic hosts Recreativo. Athletic Bilbao, one point from safety, hits the road to meet Racing, Real Madrid sits in third place, five points off the pace, and meets Celta Vigo while Sevilla rounds out the weekend on the road against Osasuna.


  • Stanley

    I hope Sevilla manage to pull it off & win everything in Spain this year. Barcelona have not even been hot & cold this year more like luke warm & cold all year & just playing for the most part plain boring, poor soccer. Their early exit being bounced from champions league proves my point. The only other big name club in Spain that is doing worse is of course Madrid but that’s understandable when we look at who the manager is.

  • Spivey Point

    Barca are lucky to be in the position they are in when you consider their overall less than stellar performance this year so far. Your right about Madrid though with the weakling Capello in charge. At least Barca’s players’ don’t have to deal with a loser like him.

  • soccer dr nyc

    for stanley barce plays the best soccer in the world. when you want to watch how soccer should be played friend look and learn soccer from barce thank you.
    barce champion la liga and cope del rey 07

  • Stanley

    I’ll watch Barca when I feel like having a good laugh & if I want to remind myself on .(What NOT! to do & how NOT! to play) Barca … sent to the curb like stray mutts’ out of the Champions’ League!

  • Kurt

    Dude that’s not fair Barca are a great side but even though they haven’t had the easiest time this season, with Eto’o and Messi out for so long, they’re still top of the league and chasing the Copa del Rey. And as for the Champions League, well you can’t win it every year can you. Manchester United have it this time though.

  • Santiago

    They are a good side, but not a great one. As for nyc’s comments your living in the past. All things in life come & go. Just as it’s the same with clubs’ in football no matter how famous. Sometimes you have to take your head out of the clouds’ & see reality for what it is.

  • Anonymous

    real shoul pay the referees the way juve did for Capello. he is a loser. he could not use the best striker, ronaldo

  • john

    ronaldo isn’t the best srtiker. he used to be one of the best

  • Scotty

    Capello seems can’t use any of his players’ in the right manner. His biggest problem is he has no control at all because he won’t stand up to the owners’ who let the media & the public dictate to them who should & shouldn’t play. Capello & Madrid’s owners’ lost the script. First Capello said Beckham wouldn’t play for Madrid again along with Madrid’s owners. Then after media pressure the owners relented & leaned on Capello who simpley folded like a house made of cards’ & Beckham was back i the fold. That proved to me once & for all that Capello has no real leadership skills or self respect. He’s not top flight manager material. Look at Manchester United. Look who Sir Alex has to answer to. Don’t you think United’s owners are just as demanding as Madrid’s? Of course they are! Difference is they respect Sir Alex & let the man do his job & if they didn’t Sir Alex would walk! Madrid’s owners don’t respect Capello & Capello doesn’t respect himself & that’s the problem there. I think it’s safe to say Capello is gone at te end of the season & rightly so. However I think any potential replacement is looking in at the situation at Madrid with very scepitical eyes’ & for a good reason. A club like Madrid shouldn’t have so many problems like that.

  • Santiago

    Well put, I also think Capello will be looking for a new job come season’s end. He’s better off at a small less high profile club like maybe second or third division but he’s not at all top flight manager material for Madrid or any oter big club but he can’t be blamed for everything. Madrid’s players’ are susposed to be some of the best in the world but they sure do not play like world class players’ or act like professionals’ most of the time. They are very spoiled & I do not think they even understand that playing for Madrid is a special honor. They are more concerned with their pay checks than remaining focused on their game. Pretty sad to see a famous club like Madrid in this state.

  • giova * * * *

    I have a feeling Madrid will be a great team next year. With the additions of Marcello Lippi as coach and Christiano Ronaldo as a player they will do great things.

  • soccer dr nyc

    all of you negative about BARCE they are the best club in the world. did you watch the game
    with deportivo on 3/31/07 and yes i see all the epl have every networt ,so my comments
    are form good source. roma 2 man uted now
    please remember i told you so liverpool was lucky.

  • Scotty

    Barca are a good team but no longer a great team. Too many stars on Barca & you can only field 11 players’ onto the field at any given time which means other star players’ have to sit on the bench or not even make the starting lineup for any given game. This causes what is happening there as well as at Madrid which is alot of discontent. Meaning lot’s of talent is wasted. Sometimes too much of anything is not exactly a good thing.