Messi vs Falcao as Barca entertain Atletico in Camp Nou

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 15, 2012
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There promises to be one of the best games of the season in FC Barcelona's Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday night as BBVA Primera Liga leaders, Barca entertain Atletico Madrid in a game that could go a long way to determining the final destination of the league title.

Barca go into the game 11 points clear of third place Real Madrid and six clear of Atletico, who are currently second in table, so a win for Tito Vilanova's side would take them nine points clear of Atletico, while maintaining their considerable advantage over Real Madrid, who are expected to defeat Espanyol earlier in the day.

On the other hand a win for Atletico would bring them to within three points of Barca and allow Real Madrid to close the gap at the top to eight points.

But the game is being viewed as much more than Barca - Atletico Madrid in Spain: it is the battle between the two best goalscorers in the league as Leo Messi, who has 23 goals this campaign, goes head to head with Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao with 16.

Falcao goes into the match after scoring five times in Atletico's 6-0 thumping of Deportivo la Coruna a week ago, while Messi continues to score his goals in pairs, netting twice against Betis a week ago and scoring a further brace against Cordoba in the Copa del Rey knockout competition to take his total for 2012 to record of 88.

Barcelona have one injury problem for the match with Cesc Fabrigas out with a torn hamstring that will sideline him for the rest of 2012. Cesc's role will be taken by either Thiago Alcantara or David Villa, who seems to have been left on the sidelines of late, despite having recovered from the broken leg he suffered a year ago.

Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique will form Barca's central defensive pairing and will have to be at their best to stop, not just Falcao, but also Arda Turam, who is capable of causing Barca problems on the break, and the aggressive Diego Costa, who will run himself into the ground to work spaces for his companions.

Barca have so far taken 43 points from a possible 45, if they have increased that total to 46 by Sunday night, they will have taken a huge stride towards the title and left another rival groggy by the wayside. Endi

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