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Barcelona looks to start new winning run at home to Racing Santander

English.news.cn   2011-01-21 19:10:57 FeedbackPrintRSS

MADRID, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona looks to begin a new winning run of form when Racing Santander visit the Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday night.

Barcelona qualified for the semi-final of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night losing a 3-1 away to Betis on Wednesday night. Although the 5-0 triumph from the first leg was enough to see Barca through, that defeat ended their record breaking 28-game unbeaten run.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola insisted that the loss was a wakeup call to his squad and highlighted that it showed there are no easy games. However, he did take the precaution of resting key players such as David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Pedro Rodriguez and Carles Puyol for the game.

All of those players will return to the side on Saturday night, although there is a slight injury worry over Puyol, who has a muscle problem.

Guardiola may be tempted to rest Xavi Hernandez this Saturday and with the first leg against Almeria to be played next week, it is not easy to predict his exact starting 11.

One thing Barca will look to avoid is allowing the midweek defeat to affect them against a Racing side that is four points above the relegation zone.

Miguel Angel Portugal' s team are the lowest goalscorers in the BBVA Primera Liga and travel to the Camp Nou after taking just one point in their last two games.

Last Sunday saw Racing concede two early goals to lose 2-1 away to Athletic Club Bilbao and another slow start will be fatal to their ambitions on Saturday.

Racing are also without striker Pedro Munitis. The veteran forward was sent off last weekend and is suspended for the trip to Barcelona, reducing the side' s attacking options still further.

With Real Madrid now four points behind Barcelona and not playing their game until 24 hours later, Barcelona have a chance to temporarily open up a seven point lead over their title rivals and put Madrid under pressure when they entertain Mallorca on Sunday.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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