Barcelona vs Tottenham

Barcelona vs Tottenham Preview: Dembélé to send Spurs out?

Barcelona have secured top spot in Group B of the Champions League but with a final match against Tottenham at the Camp Nou left to play, the Catalans will want to finish the first round in style.

Tottenham will be hoping that Inter lose or at the very least draw against PSV in the other group match and will want to walk away with three points on Tuesday to qualify for the Round of 16. However, even with Ernesto Valverde’s team having already secured qualification and with a plethora of injuries hitting the team, things will not be easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Arthur and Malcom are all out for the blaugrana. Nelson Semedo is playing to prove a point and make that right back position his to keep in Sergi Roberto’s absence.

In midfield, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez, Coutinho and Carles Aleñá have made sure that Arthur’s absence isn’t felt. And at the back, Clement Lenglent has formed a formidable partnership alongside veteran Gerard Pique. Read More

Atletico Madrid vs FC Barcelona La Liga Preview

Atletico Madrid vs FC Barcelona preview: A duel between heavyweights

Only one point separates La Liga leaders FC Barcelona and third place Atletico Madrid, with the big showdown coming in the Spanish capital on Saturday.

Diego Simeone’s men are unbeaten in all competitions in November while Ernesto Valverde’s boys are coming off a 4-3 loss at home to Real Betis. With Ivan Rakitic receiving a red card and being sent off in the defeat, it means Lionel Messi’s team will not be able to count on the Croatian during their trip to the Wanda Metropolitano. Read More

Inter vs Barcelona

Inter vs Barcelona Preview: Catalans to secure a last 16 spot?

FC Barcelona will look to clinch a berth in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League when they visit Inter Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday night.

Ernesto Valverde’s men will be looking to continue their good form of late, having won their last five matches in all competitions and this with the likely addition of Lionel Messi. The Argentine has missed Barcelona’s last four matches, including the 2-0 win against Inter at the Camp Nou. However, he has been included in the squad list despite not receiving the green light as of yet.

Messi’s absence has coincided with the rebirth of Luis Suárez, as it’s the number 9 who’s been carrying the goal scoring load. The Uruguayan has netted six goals since Messi went down with his shoulder injury (three of which came in the clasico against Real Madrid) and is back to his best. Read More

Barcelona vs Real Madrid La Liga Preview

Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Fear and loathing at Camp Nou

Last time I wrote about Real Madrid for Twelve, one month ago, Julen Lopetegui’s squad was an exciting football machine, reinventing itself with freshness and bravery, with two re-ignited veterans, Karin Benzema and Gareth Bale, finding their way where Cristiano Ronaldo used to shine.

Then came Sevilla (3-0) and a Red October, and the dreams of a coach-oriented Real Madrid have evaporated. Now we come to the first Clásico since 2007 without the Cristiano-Messi duel, and the questions seem to multiply. Read More

Barcelona vs Internazionale Champions League Preview

Barcelona vs Internazionale Preview: Who will save Valverde?

A potential thriller awaits at Camp Nou on Wednesday, not just because it pits La Liga’s champions against one of Serie A’s heavyweights, but also as it could go a long way in deciding who wins Group B. Both teams have a full haul of six points and will be keen to open-up some daylight at the top of the table.

Let’s go right away to Twelve’s Leader Board comparing players of both teams during this Champions League season. It’s no surprise to see Lionel Messi as the best performer. From the Neroazzuri side, Mauro Icardi stands out as the best performer.

Barcelona vs Internazionale Champions League Preview
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Valencia vs Barcelona La Liga preview

Valencia vs Barcelona Preview: Tough test for Messi and co.

After what can only be called the Lionel Messi show on Wednesday night at Wembley, Ernesto Valverde’s team travel from London to Valencia as a stiff test awaits them in La Liga.

They made it six points out of six to start off their Champions League campaign with Lionel Messi running the show for them, but will they be able to turn it around and pick up a victory in the Spanish championship?

While Valencia drew 0-0 in their Champions League encounter against Manchester United, they’re at least able to say they recently won a match in La Liga as they defeated Real Sociedad 1-0 last Saturday.

For FC Barcelona, they have gone win-less in their last three matches with their last victory, ironically enough, also coming away from home in a 2-1 win against Real Sociedad. Since that game, they have drawn twice and lost once, with the defeat coming against bottom of the table Leganes. However, coach Valverde finally appeared to have got the starting eleven correct against Tottenham. Read More

Tottenham vs Barcelona Champions League Preview

Tottenham vs Barcelona Preview: Whose Ball Is It Anyway?

David Wagner dominated the tactics board on Saturday with his Huddersfield side pressing Tottenham Hotspur into a mess. They limited Eric Dier to a poor performance with 78% pass success rate and Paulo Gazzaniga just 52%.

But it mattered for nothing as Spurs’ individual supremacy shone in the transitional and improvisational moments, giving Tottenham a misleadingly comfortable 2-0 scoreline.

The chance for Tottenham to test their talents against Barcelona is an exciting challenge. The two teams haven’t met in senior competition for decades, but it’s coming at the wrong time for the north Londoners.

Issues in midfield remain unresolved after an event-less transfer window. Post-World-Cup fatigue is hurting a team with no less than nine players in the semi-finals. Spurs are suffering a slow start to the season. Now, just in time, an injury crisis has set in. Dele, Aurier, Eriksen, Lloris, Vertonghen and Dembele are all doubts. Read More

Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven Champions League preview

Barcelona vs PSV Preview: Are Barca Champions League favourites?

Football’s premier club competition the Champions League kicks off for the season this week, and FC Barcelona’s search for a first title win since 2015 begins at home against PSV Eindhoven.

Ernesto Valverde’s men have been drawn in a relatively difficult Group B alongside Tottenham Hotspur of England, Inter of Italy and PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands. The first test for the Catalan club is arguably the easiest of the three opponents with PSV having qualified for the tournament by defeating BATE Borisov 6-2 on aggregate over the two legs.

Lionel Messi’s main focus this season appears to be the Champions League and he has made it abundantly clear that he would very much like to win it this year. Addressing the fans at the Camp Nou at the beginning of the season, here’s what the little magician had to say: Read More

Barcelona vs SD Huesca Preview: Can Suárez Get Back On Form?

Joint top of the table, FC Barcelona host third placed SD Huesca at the Camp Nou on Sunday in what should be a routine victory for the Catalan club.

Coming off a somewhat unconvincing 1-0 victory away from home against Real Valladolid, Barcelona will look to make it three wins on the trot against a Huesca side who snatched a 2-2 draw away to Athletic Bilbao on Monday. French forward Ousmane Dembélé was one of the stand out players during Barcelona’s win against Valladolid as he scored the only goal of the match.

Luis Suarez’s form surely has to be a worry for blaugrana fans though as the Uruguayan has not only failed to score in the opening two matches of the season but hasn’t particularly impressed either. Coach Ernesto Valverde still seems to trust the number 9 but a goal can surely do no harm in helping to continue spread the list of goal scorers. Forward Paco Alcacer was recently loaned out to German club Borussia Dourtmind, which means Munir El Haddadi remains as the only other striker available for Ernesto Valverde. Read More

Barcelona vs Deportivo Alaves Preview

Barcelona vs. Deportivo Alaves Preview: Will the champions’ new men feature?

FC Barcelona open their 2018-2019 La Liga campaign against a Deportivo Alaves side which finished in 14th position last season and go into the first match day as massive underdogs.

Lots of changes occurred during the summer for last season’s champions, not least being the departure of Andres Iniesta to China. The exit of the legendary number 8 left a big hole in midfield which will hopefully be covered by the new players brought in during the break. The captain’s armband now belongs to Lionel Messi meaning this is now his team and it’s not a bad supporting cast by his side.

World Cup winner Ousmane Dembele scored the winning goal in the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla and that should definitely boost his confidence even more after lifting football’s greatest prize with his country. Coutinho finally had a pre-season with the Catalan club and new signings Arthur, Malcom, Lenglet and Arturo Vidal will bring some much needed depth to the team. Read More