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03.02.2009 12:29

Nine games in 29 days

Marc Guillén

FC Barcelona have had a busy start to the New Year with the team playing no less than nine games in 29 days, but they have very well winning eight of them, drawing one and not losing a single match.

The Blaugrana finished 2008 in superb fashion, winning against the top four clubs below. But far from relaxing, Pep Guardiola's team have started 2009 just as well and have yet to be beaten despite playing an average of one game every three days.

A key month

QM3D9955.jpgOn December 31, Gerard Piquñe announced that he felt that the first few weeks of the new year would be crucial. "January will be a key month," he explained. "If we continue as we have been playing up until now it will be difficult to catch us.”

On January 3 Barça began the year by beating Real Mallorca 3-0 and gone on to record five consecutive victories in the league, beating Osasuna, Deportivo, Numancia and Racing. In midweek, the team have played in the Copa del Rey consistently and have seen off Atlético de Madrid and Espanyol. The first leg of the quarter final was the only game that the team did not win in January as they were held to a goalless draw by the Blanc i Blau.

An impressive average

QM3D0058.jpgIn the nine games played since the festive break, Barça have scored 25 goals and let in nine. The only big win came against Depor when the Blaugrana won 5-0, but the average number of goals stands at 2.7 scored per game and only one let in.
Nine games in 29 days
Successful rotations
Josep Guardiola has maintained his squad rotation policy to ensure that the team continues paying at the highest rhythm and to allow every player to have a chance of impressing. Apart from Rafa Márquez, who was injured, Pedro, Víctor Sánchez, Albert Jorquera and Gaby Milito, all the players have played atleast 300 minutes out of a possible 810 in January. Alves is the the player that has played the most as he has 657 minutes to his name, while the remaining 18 have all had between 300 and 550. Guardiola has managed to keep the majority of his squad fresh by ensuring that they do not play much more than 90 minutes per week.

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