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23.12.2007 10:23

An intense week

Roger Bogunyà

There is always a lot of news in the build up to a game between Barça and Madrid, with plenty of interviews and rumours about team selection. This week has been no exception.

The first and perhaps most important story surrounded Messi, who was injured at Mestalla and has been confirmed as out for the next 4 or 5 weeks. That means the player who scored three in the last meeting between the sides will not play on Sunday.

Special game for Iniesta and Márquez

marquez_zm_x5x.jpgOn Monday, Iniesta confessed to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat that although he has already played six such matches, the clásico is always something special. Rafael Márquez said the same on the ‘Zona Mixta' programme shown on Barça TV: “It is a totally different game to any other” he said. Similar impressions were expressed by the likes of Giovani dos Santos and Milito in interviews this week.

Key game for Barça, says Laporta

The FC Barcelona president is confident his side will win. Joan Laporta, feels there is more at stake than ever for Barcelona and that “we are obliged to win”.

Who will play?

201207entrenament_x11x.jpgPlenty of discussion has focused on the potential line ups. In reference to Barça, it is Frank Rijkaard’s choices in attack that are getting the most comments, especially since Ronaldinho was benched at Mestalla. With Henry back but Messi out, there are plenty of possible changes, while over in Madrid the main concern surrounds Guti, who has been nursing ankle troubles all week, but has finally been selected.

Champions League draw

One event that has diverted at least some of the attention was Friday’s Champions League draw, in which Barça learned that they will be meting Glasgow Celtic, their second Scottish opponent of the season. Madrid, meanwhile, will be facing Giuly’s Roma.
An intense week
Henry available
The bad news may have been the loss of Messi, but the good news is that Henry was declared fully fit on Thursday after being sidelined for over a month following an injury picked up against Recreativo at the Camp Nou. The Frenchman is likely to make his return against Real Madrid, in what will be his first taste of a clásico.

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