How Barcelona will beat Man Utd

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They might be favourites to win the tie over two legs, but there’s no way that Barcelona will be taking Manchester United lightly, particularly at Old Trafford.

Playing at the Camp Nou for the second leg may seem to afford the Catalans an advantage of sorts, but Ernesto Valverde and his team will want to make that a formality.

In order to do so, they’ll need to take the game to the Red Devils and quieten the expected 75,000 crowd.

But just how are they going to manage it?

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Week 31: Best 11 Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

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Barcelona look like they will win the league after their season defining match up against 2nd placed Atletico Madrid ended in a 2-0 win for the Catalan giants, courtesy of goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The win took Barcelona a huge 11 points clear with just 21 left on the board. Below we take a look at the best performing players this past weekend in La Liga for your fantasy team.

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona

Several goalkeeprs achieved 7pts this weekend but we will give the nod to Barcelona’s Marc ter Stegen based on the fact that Barca kept out the 2nd best team in Spain Atletico Madrid and ter Stegen kept a clean sheet against a team who had scored 45 times this season. ter Stegen is 2nd in the rankings and can be bought for 10m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona

A colossal performance from Jordi Alba at the back for Barca who isn’t afraid to also attack and cause problems for the opposition. With just five minutes left v Atletico Madrid the match was 0-0 and he assisted in Luis Suarez’s goal, a famous performance and Alba is 3rd in the fantasy rankings and can be bought for 9m.

Defender: Djene- Getafe

Getafe have been brilliant this season and could qualify for the Champions League- they are currently in 4th place and Djene put in a terrific performance in defence, keeping a clean sheet as his team beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0. Djene ‘s value is 5.5m.

Defender: Sergi Gomez- Sevilla

Sergi Gomez was part of the Sevilla side who beat Valladolid 2-0 away from home in a tricky match on paper. It took Sevilla to 5th place and just 1 point behind Getafe. Gomez earned 5pts for his troubles and he is valued at just 6.5m which looks like a bargain.

Defender: Abdoulaye Ba- Rayo Vallecano

Abdoulaye Ba has started 20 games for Vallecano and has been part of a team that has conceded a massive 54 goals this season. That is why he deserves to be included in this team of the week for performers as he kept a rare clean sheet as Vallecano beat the mighty Valencia 2-0. It was a fantastic result for the club and Ba would cost 4m.

Midfielder: Giovani Lo Celso- Real Betis

The ex Barcelona player Lo Celso earned a huge 8pts at the weekend as Real Betis beat Villarreal 2-1. But it was an even more memorable weekend for Lo Celso who grabbed both of Betis’ goals. Lo Celso can be snapped up for 6m.

Midfielder: Sergi Darder- Espanyol

Sergi Darder is 10th in the midfielder rankings for fantasy la liga and he secured 8pts at the weekend as he opened up the scoring for Espanyol who went onto win their game 2-1. Darder is valued at 6.5m and has played 25 times this season.

Midfielder: Adri Embarba- Rayo Vallecano

This was a massive game for Embarba who assisted in both of Rayo Vallecano’s goals as they beat Valencia 2-0 given the team a massive boost of staying up. Embarba will need a few repeat performances if his side are to stay in La Liga and would cost just 3.5m.

Midfielder: Roque- Sevilla

Roque has struggled this season and started just 15 times being used as a substitute on a few occasions. However he earned 6pts as Sevilla kept a clean sheet in a highly intense game. Roque is valued at 3m.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid

With most of the goals being scored by midfielders and defenders in La Liga this past weekend Karim Benzema was far and away the best performing striker in La Liga. The Real Madrid forward earned 8pts as he scored both of his sides goals in their 2-1 win over Eibar. Benzema would cost 10m.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo

Aspas has been here before as one of the best performers in La Liga and has done it again. He earned 7pts as Celta Vigo won 3-1 and he scored 2 of the goals to give his side a much needed 3pts. Aspas can be bought for 8.5m.

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Barcelona linked with shock move for Alberto Moreno

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Barcelona have been linked a surprise summer move for Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno, as they look to find cover for Jordi Alba ahead of the 2019-20 La Liga season.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have been rumoured to be keen on a number of left backs in recent months, as the former Athletic Bilbao boss looks to establish permanent cover for Alba.

With their interest rebuffed for Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis, La Blaugrana have struggled to attract players on the premise of playing a supporting role for the Catalan side next season.

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Is Jordi Alba’s renewal good news for Barcelona?

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Last Thursday Barcelona announced that they would be renewing left-back Jordi Alba for the next five years, and placed a 500 million euro buyout clause on his new deal.

As statements of intent go, and after a period of uncertainty, it was pretty categoric from the Catalans.

Clearly, they rate their left-back highly enough to keep him at the club until the end of his career. Continue reading

Barcelona linked with Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal

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La Liga leaders Barcelona have been linked with a shock move for Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal, according to media reports in Spain.

The Spanish international is rumoured to be interesting Ernesto Valverde’s side, in a story by Catalan newspaper Diario Sport, this morning.

Despite tying current first choice left back Jordi Alba to a long term deal at the end of February, cover in the position has been a real concern for La Blaugrana at times this season.

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Messi on fire as Barcelona win at Sevilla

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There was no looking past the world’s best player on Saturday afternoon as Lionel Messi put on another masterclass to help Barcelona win 4-2 at Sevilla.

The home side actually went ahead through a well-taken finish from Jesus Navas but Messi equalised with a sublime left-footed volley just minutes later.

Sevilla were in the lead again at half-time, however, after Gabriel Mercado scored three minutes before the break. Pablo Machin’s side were good value for their 2-1 lead at that stage.

Machin’s half-time team-talk probably consisted of something like “keep Messi quiet and we can win this”.

Barcelona swoop for Valencia defender Jeison Murillo

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Barcelona have made their first move of the La Liga January 2019 transfer window, by bringing in 26 year old defender Jeison Murillo on a loan dea until the end of the season, from Valencia.

Colombian international Murillo has appeared just once in league action for Marcelino’s side so far this season, after joining from Italian side Inter Milan in the summer.

Murillo initially signed on a two year loan contract at the start of last season, with an obligation for Valencia to buy inserted into the details the deal.

Valencia exercised the purchase option at the start of the season, after he made 17 La Liga appearances in 2017-18, as they returned to the Top Four in Spain. However he has become more and more of a fringe player this season, and now Barcelona have accepted a purchase option on him at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

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Sevilla head to Camp Nou for table topping clash

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Sevilla v Barcelona is always an enticing La Liga fixture in any season, but this weekend’s clash has taken on new importance, with the Andalusian side leading the way in the Spanish top flight this season.

Pablo Machin’s side have turned in some impressive performances in recent weeks, as well as benefiting from the recent inconsistency of Barcelona and Real Madrid, and they have a one point lead over the Catalan side ahead of Saturday’s game.

Barcelona have already defeated Sevilla once  this season, with a 2-1 victory in the Spanish Super Cup in August.

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La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 8

garcia4With a full fixture list coming up in La Liga this weekend, there is plenty of action to sift through – making the weekend picks this time won’t be the easiest job! There are some cracking fixtures to come, as always – Real Madrid travelling to the impressive Alaves will be worth watching on Saturday, while Sunday’s pick of the matches sees fourth placed Atletico Madrid taking on fifth placed Real Betis. Both sides are tied on points and have decent defences, though the hosts are ahead on merit of having scored three more goals (and conceding one less). With that in mind, let’s go for a 4-3-3 here and see which players are worth considering for you to bring in to your fantasy team this coming weekend.

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Tottenham need more than Kane to beat Barcelona

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Injuries to key players in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side couldn’t have come at a worse time for the north Londoners.

If losing Dele Alli wasn’t bad enough, to hear that Christian Eriksen, Serge Aurier, Jan Verthongen and Moussa Dembele were out too would likely have sent even the most optimistic Spurs fan into meltdown.

Hugo Lloris returns in goal in one bit of good news for ‘Poch,’ who will be heavily reliant on the talismanic Harry Kane doing the business. Continue reading