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26.09.2007 11:29

Zaragoza hoping for a surprise


FC Barcelona take on Real Zaragoza in their fifth league game of the season on Wednesday evening in Camp Nou and the visitors will be keen to cause a surprise and take something from the encounter.

Víctor Fernández's side have won just once in their opening four league fixtures this term as the season has not started as well as expected. After losing at Real Murcia in the first game, Zaragoza earned a point from a 1-1 draw at home against Racing Santander. The Aragónese outfit then produced the same scoreline as they garnered a share of the spoils in San Mamés against Athletic Bilbao, before finally winning their first match of the campaign when goals from Francelino Matuzalem and Diego Milito gave them a 2-1 victory over Osasuna in La Romareda.

New faces

celebracio.jpgLike many teams in la Primera, Rea Zaragoza had a busy summer in the transfer market as they bought and sold several players in a bid to improve their squad. Among the more high profile signings were Roberto Fabian Ayala from Villarreal, Gabi from Atlético de Madrid and the two Brazilian forwards, Ricardo Oliveira and Matuzalem, who came from AC Milan and Shakhtar respectively.

Same system

00360626.jpgThe departures of players such as Gabi Milito, Ewerthon and Gerard Piqué meant that new players were required. Despite the change in personnel, Fernández has not chnaged his system and Zaragoza still line up with the 4-1-3-2 formation that brought the side a lot of success last term. Ayala, Matuzalem and Oliveira are already regulars in the team, while Diego Milito has been handed the captain's armband following the exit of his brother, Gabi, to FC Barcelona.

Previous meetings

Since winning promotion back to the first division in 2003-04, Real Zaragoza have failed to win in Camp Nou in the league. Barcelona have won three of the matches and one ended in a draw in the four games since. The Blaugrana secured all three points last season in the fixture thanks to a late free-kick from Ronaldinho, after Thiago Motta had earlier been sent off.
Zaragoza hoping for a surprise
Gabi the goalscorer
Despite being a central defender, Gabi Milito has been a key figure in Real Zaragoza's success in front of goal in Camp Nou in recent years. The current Barça star scored the opening goal of the game for the Aragónese side shortly before Diego Milito netted a second for the team that were then coached by former Blaugrana player Víctor Muñoz. Last term, Gabi Milito again put Zaragoza ahead in the 16th minute, but two goals from Ronaldinho and one from Javier Saviola gave the hosts all three points.

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