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26.04.2010 13:59

Defensive dilemma for Guardiola

Sandra Sarmiento

With Club captain Carles Puyol suspended for Wednesday’s match, Guardiola will have to pick two from Gerard Piqué, Rafa Marquez and Gabi Milito to form the heart of his defence.

Carles Puyol is superstitious. He picked up a harsh yellow card in the first leg and won’t be available for the return leg. Just like last year when he missed out on the game at Stamford Bridge on the day that Iniesta took us to Rome. But there’s plenty of experienced cover for Puyol, with Piqué, Marquez and Milito all fit and ready to go.

Piqué and Milito: 4 matches

2010-03-21_PARTIDO_10.JPGThese two know each other well having played together at Zaragoza. This season they’ve joined up in four matches – victories against Valencia, Zaragoza and Real Madrid and a goalless draw against Espanyol. In the big game against Real Madrid they neutralized the lethal partnership of Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuaín.

Piqué and Marquez: 5 matches

2010-01-30_PARTIDO_18.JPGThese two formed the central defensive pairing in the win against Sporting in the Molinon, the demolition of Racing Santander in the Camp Nou and the 3-0 defeat of Deportivo. However, things have not gone so well in the Champions League where they lost in the Camp Nou against Rubin Kazan and drew away to Stuttgart.

Marquez and Milito: 2 matches

2010-04-06_PARTIDO_36.JPGProbably the least likely combination given that they have only played together twice this season. On the other hand they lined up together in the last CL home match against Arsenal and performed more than satisfactorily. Their first match together was against Sevilla in the Cup on the day Milito made his comeback from injury.
Defensive dilemma for Guardiola
Milito, two years on
On Thursday it will exactly two years since Milito picked up a serious injury in Old Trafford and started out on a painful journey to rebuild his professional career. He missed out on last year’s successes so perhaps this is his chance to make up for missed opportunities.

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