Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona (UCL Semifinal)

Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Another war, another party, another riddle. Third match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in twelve days; First leg of the Champions League semifinals. Anyone who says this has nothing to do with the previous matches, will be right. Anyone who says otherwise, too. The competition is different and the approach includes 180 minutes that would be 210 in case of an overtime. Less urgent, in theory. Unless the teams reserve a surprise: to solve it today. To try it, anyway.

There is every possibility, even the most unexpected. No one imagined a Madrid entrenched in the first assault. No one was able to assume that Pepe and Khedira would advance their position in the Spanish Cup, becoming the defensive pressure in attacker pressure. Only Barcelona has remained unchanged. Until Saturday. That day, after winning Osasun painfullya, Guardiola decided to play another type of match, the psychological. His comment about the tall grass was just a preview. Yesterday released toads and snakes, provocative. Tonight we will know if there is translation to the field, if Barcelona comes out more aggressive or remodeled by Iniesta injury and gives the ball to Madrid. Then the risk will be that the ball will be orphaned in midfield.

In principle, it seems that Mourinho will play with the base of the Cup team, with the obligate innovations; Albiol and Lass, by Carvalho (suspended) and Khedira (injured).Two tweaks that would not necessarily alter the essence of the scheme. In addition, the game of attack would be delivered to the creativity of Özil, key part in the first part of the Cup final, to Di María's speed and to Cristiano's strength, who will play as false striker (or not so faalse).

The reference to Cristiano leads us to consider the following game to play: The cracks' game. After the duel between coaches, or even earlier, Cristiano and Messi have a personal fight. At the moment the Portuguese win. He would be the best player of the world if is judged by the last two games.

Messi, meanwhile, has found tactical problems that has failed to solve. If acting is knowing the role and not trip over the furniture (Spencer Tracy said), Messi was tangled with the text and chairs. Without space, he has run out of air, but it is the duty of those who seek flat at the Olympus overcome these obstacles. Others did.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi

Physical condition is the last key. The approach of the Madrid explains a lot, but Barcelona has come to this part of the season without fresh and free refills. Remember: Four months ago, Barcelona would not have missed an advantage, would not have forgiven an enemy on the ropes. Mascherano's position in the center of the defense points to a problem of planning, staffing, perhaps arrogance. In that position will repeat the Argentinian while Puyol will move to the left to cover the place of Maxwell, injured in the last League match.

Real Madrid is not only stronger physically, many of its starters rested on Saturday. They did it while substitutes scoring six goals to Valencia. So great is the bench and so many possibilities it offers. Calculate: Kaka, Benzema and Higuain on the bench.

The Champions League does not lie: the equality is true, although the Madrid comes with better air. Eight wins and two draws. No goal conceded at home. Barcelona have won seven games, drawn two and lost one in the Emirates against Arsenal. Twenty-four goals scored by each team, but Madrid conceded less, three by seven of Barcelona.

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