Is it?


I think so. Traditional curtain-raiser between the European Cup and UEFA Cup winners.


Or Champions League v Europa League if you prefer.


Barcelona v Porto


New signings on both sides, and Porto lost their manager and some players, with others rumoured .


My money's on Barcelona, but I think it should be a good match.


Last year the Europa League won the day, with Atletico Madrid shocking European Champions Inter Milan.



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Do Barcelona have some sort of aversion towards defenders? Looking at their team, they have a defensive midfielder and a left-back in central defence, with two full backs who basically play as wingers. On top of that, the subs bench has FOUR midfielders on it. 4 midfielders for 3 spots on the field? Only Fontas could really be considered a defender on that bench.
It is a bit odd, isn't it? What are they saving PIque for, or is he injured? I actually heard someone say that Masch will be first choice CB for them this year. Surely that is a most strange chocie, he's all of 5'7"!
Well, annoyingly it seems to be working for them so they probably don't feel the need to splash out on a centre back! Even last year in the CL final they got on perfectly well with Masch in defence.
They need to replace Puyol pretty quickly, but they don't seem to want to give "outsiders" a chance. Chygrynskiy was given one season and made to play in midfield for most of it. Milito has gone I think as well, and they have just 7 defenders in their 25 man squad (Puyol, Pique, Alves, Maxwell, Abidal, Fontas and Adriano), 3 of which are Left-backs! Dunno what has happened to Henrique, Caceres, Botia and Muniesa.

Yep, Gabby Milito has gone to Italy, but I don't remember which club. I keep forgetting about Maxwell.


I guess they figure that since they always keep the ball they don't need real defenders... ;)

Just looked it up, looks like he's gone back to Argentina to play for Independiente.
Ah, oculd have sworn he was going to Italy to be with Diego. Ah well, wrong again!
Doubt many teams would go for him, he's so injury prone it makes hargreaves look reliable.

LOL, poor Hargreaves


Did he ever get a club then?

There's a reason why I don't think they have got a replacement of such for Puyol: I reckon Guardiola will change the system again.


Mascherano is playing where I reckon Busquets will, Xavi could drop back and Fabregas could play in midfield.


Most teams will operate with one up front against Barcelona, if even. Seems tactically crazy but it could work in matches where the opposition just sit back and defend.







Bit of an error from Porto there, they were doing very well there, but Messi made that look easy.


Can't stand Barcelona any more. Them scoring a gift of goal is just such a shame for Porto, who will have to open up and probably concede again.

Also, what is up with the smoke? (I assume from the Barcelona fans celebration)



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