Barça’s objective: the Wembley final

FC Barcelona look to build on their 0-2 lead from last week when they take on Real Madrid this evening (20.45h CET) in the fourth and final ‘clásico’ between the two sides over the last few weeks. Guardiola welcomes back Iniesta and Abidal to the squad.

Roger Bogunyà

May 3, 2011 02:08 PM

Barcelona (FCB).- Tonight’s FC Barcelona – Real Madrid game is the Big One. The match that decides who goes through to the Champions League Final at Wembley later this month. All the ingredients are there for a great contest: top class players, plenty of controversy –mainly due to Jose Mourinho’s statements–, a packed Nou Camp and yet another clash between the two great rivals. Despite the 0-2 lead from last week, Pep Guardiola continues to preach caution, whilst dreaming of another Wembley Final, and there is still everything to play for as the two teams fight it out over 90 minutes to see who makes the trip to London later this month.

Abidal and Iniesta back

FC Barcelona come into the game with a number of players out injured: in defence, Guardiola has to do without Maxwell, Adriano and Milito, as well as the suspended Pinto, with Bojan the other absentee from the first team squad. The good news is the return of Iniesta and Abidal, whilst B team youngsters Oier, Bartra, Thiago and Sergi Roberto complete the 20 man list for the game.

Change of tactics?

It looks as if we could be in for a very different match from the last three tonight, with Madrid having to change their tactics and go after the game –Barça, of course, will stay true to their attacking instincts –abandoning their ultra defensive approach which they stuck to in the Spanish League, the Cup and Champions League semi final’s first leg games. Real Madrid need two goals to even force extra time and at least three if they are to win the tie and seem likely to go out and dispute possession with Barça, which should completely change the script from the last three clashes between the two.

Options in attack for Mourinho

To get back into the tie, Jose Mourinho will have to play with a number 9 tonight and he can choose between Adebayor, Benzema and Higuaín, who all started the Cup Final and the first leg on the bench, or even Kaka. Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence is almost certain and he will try to score in the Nou Camp. Real Madrid will be without the suspended Pepe and Sergio Ramos, but with a place at Wembley at stake, they are sure to put everything into trying to pull the tie around.



Wembley opponents decided on Wednesday

The second semi final takes place on Wednesday when Manchester United take on Schalke 04 at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson’s team also lead 0-2 from the first leg and look favourites to book their place at Wembley.