Because of the way FC Barcelona and Vila-real are playing, Josep Guardiola expects a good game on Saturday night. He has been impressed with what he’s seen of Garrido’s third place outfit.
He said “Vila-real is the team we have found the most difficult in recent seasons. They are a
very settled team, and have a recognisable style for many years. They have been playing like this
for a long time and they are generally a very good side”. Guardiola is convinced that it will
be an enjoyable match for the people that come on Saturday night.
are Vila-real third? “They have a good goalkeeper. Marchena has added valued experience to
the backline, and they have good midfielders. They have depth outside and skill inside, and when a
team has such a strong set of midfielders, it associates well. And they have two great strikers in
Rossi and Nilmar, they’re very quick and skilful”.
Statistics don’t lie
“I don’t like looking at these kinds of things, but statistics show that they
have not lost at the Camp Nou for three years”, said Guardiola. No other team has gone the
last three years without losing at Barcelona’s stadium.
Who will join Puyol?
The biggest question at the moment is Puyol’s partner in the middle of defence. Piqué
and Milito, suspended and injured respectively, will miss the game and either Abidal or a player
from Barça B look set to fill in.
manager spoke about Bartra and Fontàs’ chances: “One is right-footed and the other
left, and they both have plenty of character. Bartra is more explosive, but Andreu is great at
getting the ball out and very efficient in the two on one. Both of them cover a lot of ground and
are good in the air. I think they’re both ready”.
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Puyol and game 500
Josep Guardiola spoke about Carles Puyol’s 500 first team appearances, a figure he looks set
to make on Saturday night. “Everything he had when he debuted under Van Gaal is still with
him. He is always the man who puts the most effort into training. He is the captain and has shown
that through facts. Tomorrow’s his 500th game and he should be congratulated. He has to be
ready both physically and psychologically, which is not easy at a club like this, to survive so
many years. But he looks after himself and trains well, and has plenty more years in him”.