FC Barcelona face one of their toughest tests of the season as the long-awaited encounter with Real Madrid takes place on Monday evening (22:00h) and victory would see the Catalan side leapfrog their opponents at the top of the Primera table.
Josep Guardiola has said that the team is entirely focused on the Champions League game with Panathinaikos, and has promised that he won’t be conditioning his selection by the forthcoming Madrid match.
Barça have subjected Almeria to a rout in a show of attacking brilliance, going 5-0 ahead in just 36 minutes thanks to goals from (2), Iniesta, Acasiete (own goal) and Pedro. Bojan (2) and Messi added three more on a historic night.
PSV Eindhoven and FC Barcelona have reached agreement on a deal to bring Ibrahim Afellay to Barça, with only the personal terms between the player and the Catalan club to be settled over the next few weeks.
Carles Puyol played his 500th game for the club on Saturday against Villarreal and showed that at 32 he is still well on top of his game. Speaking to Barça TV he joked after the game: “I’m still only half way through my career”.
FC Barcelona eased into the next round of the Copa del Rey with a 5-1 triumph over Ceuta in their second leg encounter on Wednesday evening thanks to goals from Nolito, Gaby Milito, Pedro, Bojan Krkic and Lionel Messi.
FC Barcelona tonight welcome Ceuta (at 22.00) where they will need to make the most of the 2-0 win in the away leg and qualify for the next round of the cup. The squad contains 12 first team players and five from the B.