A detailed report on P v P for the upcoming Champions league round of 16 between Spanish Giants Barcelona and the English Blues. This terrific match is thus a battle between the Catalans and Sky Blues, Pellegrini and Tata, a Culé and a Citizen, $ and the Masia's and last bit not the least; a battle of friendship. A Blaugrana fan will definitely call it "Més qué un partido de fútbol".
"All the stats and figures include League and CL only"
VICTOR VALDES VS JOE HART
Valdes - Played 24, Passing success of 62.1% while it's better in CL with that of 75.8%,Avg. Match rating of 7.6, Saves 57 and CS 11 in the league.
VV has been a beast this season, (or should I say the start of the season) his last season though, he'll put everything he's got to help Barca reach next round.
Hart - Played 23 with Passing success of 52.8%, Avg. Match rating of 6.6, Saves 50 and 6 CS in league.
Joe's performance has been wavy, but he's performed really well in tough Epl encounters. Lets see if he's able to stop Barca's deadly in form strikers.
PIQUE/MASCHERANO VS DEMICHELIS/KOMPANY
Pique ( O w8, should have placed him alongside Leo)- 27 apps., 4 goals scored, stats say he has a good tackling and interception rate and is dribbled less times, Avg match rating of 7.5.
Mascherano - 19 apps., with a good 3.7 tackles and 2.8 interception per match, Pass success of 90% and Avg rating of 7.2.
This duo has been shaky for some games but are the key for big matches. They aren't penetrated through by opponents if they play seriously, else everyone knows what to expect. Still a slim chances they will play poor given the high intensity of this game. Also no complacency to be shown from all of our defenders.
Demichelis - 17 apps., 88% pass accuracy, dribbled many a times, Avg rating of 7.16.
Kompany - 18 apps., 3 goals 88% pass success rate, 2.2 tackles and 5 clearances per match, Avg rating of 7.2
These CB have also been at their top in most matches. With Demichelis lack in agility and movements our Leo will surely be able to get past. While the major concern being Vincent - the renowned CB of the world; listed on same level as T. Silva.
ALBA/ ALVES VS KOLAROV/ZABALETA
Alba - 10 apps, 89 % pass success, committing less tackles and more fouls and clearances, Avg rating of 7.
Alves - 19 apps, 2 goals, 3.6 tackles per match, this guy is dribbled more often according to stats having Avg rating of 7.4
CERTAINLY this one is a tricky battle. More favoured for City though, our full backs haven't performed at high level in many matches. Both are attack minded and thus it will be interesting to see if Tata uses different options for this match.
Zabaleta - 24 apps, 5 assists, 3.8 tackles p.m., bit slow and thus dribbled through, Avg rating of 7.1.
Kolarov - 18 apps, 2 goals, 4 assists (brilliant), likes to clear the ball and is good at interception pass success of 79%, Avg rating 7
Here comes the twist. On paper this duo is a clear favourite and are in a great form too. Won't be surprising if Tata uses tactics like the one against Madrid, keeping Messi on wings.
XAVI(?)/INIESTA VS NAVAS/MILNER/NASRI
Xavi - 22 apps, 3 goals, 5 assists, pass success rate 93.3% (obvious), likes more to control the tempo of game than provide key passes, Avg rating of 7.2.
Iniesta - 21 apps,1 goal, 5 assists, 90% pass success, likes to dribble past defense, create spaces + opportunities, great at key passes, Avg rating of 7.3.
Xavi still being a doubt for this one, would still be good if he starts. His range of passing and keeping possession is what we need most against City. While Iniesta has always been at his peak everytime he steps on the pitch. Cant remember last time he had a bad game. Also brace yourselves to witness any rare golazos from The Don.
Navas - 18 apps, 4 goals, 9 assists, 85% success in passing, likes to dribble, give key passes, yet defensive contribution is low, likes to cross the balls too, Avg rating is 7.4.
Milner - 9 apps, 2 goals, 4 assists, good at defensive work too, strong in holding the ball and creating set pieces, Avg match rating is 7.4.
Nasri - 20 apps, 5 goals & 7 assists, 90% pass accuracy, 2.4 key passes p.m., again is good at dribbling, crossing, but lacks defensive work, Avg rating 7.24.
So half the story is clear now. Most probably if Nasri and Navas starts, City will want to have a direct approach to the game, will try to gain lead and put pressures through counters. While Milner is again a threat and is not predictable at times. Worth to see how Pellegrini places his midfield. Will he go for parking the bus or try to play attacking?
Busquets vs Toure/Garcia
Busquets - 23 apps, 2 goals 1 assist, more of a defensive minded, great at holding on the ball assist and has a great vision, pass success of 93%, more passionate in tackling and is dribbled past less times, Avg rating of 7.4
This will be quite a test for Busi. Overall his performances are good but now they are really gonna be tested through the likes of Siva, Navas and Negredo. Busi has to up his hidden talent and show the world why he is one of the best DM's of the world.
Toure - 28 apps., when started at CM this guy has scored 11 goals and given 4 assists, while in DM position he has 2 goals to his name, pass accuracy of 90%, Good at passing and holding strong on the ball, Avg Match rating is 6.5
Garcia - only 10 apps, pass success of 90%, 2.4 clearances p.m, good st defensive work and doesn't let opponents get away easily, Avg rating of 6.6.
These two will play in and out and won't let our possession football to take place, will mostly try to dominate Xavi, Iniesta and Leo. Getting away with this wall of defense will surely result in our good.It's more likely they'll park the bus if these two are going to play this match, as they will be supported even by Navas and Milner.
CESC FABREGAS VS DAVID SILVA ( O_o )
These two will be the key players to both the teams. Both have been playing exceptionally well for their respective clubs. This one will surely be battle of friendship and the one with assassin's eye will lead his team to victory.
Cesc Fabregas - 23 apps., 9 goals 13 assists in total (league and CL) ... Just look at those figures, pass success of 88%, likes to provide key passes, tries to dribble and is not afraid to take shots, Avg rating - 7.5
The thing is crystal clear. Cesc is gonna assist "World's Best Player Messi" while Silva will assist Negredo. Cesc knows how to trouble the opponents with all those vertical and through balls. Leader of the assists chart in whole Europe, Fabregas will surely be Barca's deadly weapon. A weapon which can shoot, pass, assist, head and create havoc in the enemy half.
D. Silva - 19 apps., 5 goals 8 assists, Pass success of 89%, likes to provide key passes and is super good at it, Holds good on the ball and is good at crossing too, while defensive contribution not upto the mark, Avg rating is 7.6.
Stats aren't decisive always and so if we ride off this person we need to consult a doctor. Has been in great form current season and has proved himself on tough matches. Our defense should already start worrying about him cause he's insanely talented with his skills. If Pique and co. are able to nullify his plays with Negredo in our half then we'll surely have a gala time at etihad ( o w8 did I jinxed it? )
PEDRO/SANCHEZ/MESSI/NEYMAR VS NEGREDO
Here comes our pile driver !!! All of them in their super saiyan form, blowing up opponent's arses since the beginning, all having hat-tricks to their name !!! Sweet Jesus...
Pedro - 20 apps, 14 goals, 7 assistances, 86% pass success, has more no. of goals mainly when he plays on the left, Avg rating 7.2
Sanchez - 22 apps, 15 goals and 7 assists, 80% pass success, likes to dribble, do layoff's, provide key passes and crosses, Avg rating is 7.6.
Leo Messi - stats doesn't define this person, magic does. 18 apps, 19 goals, 8 assists, 85% pass success, averages 5 shots on goal per match, great at every aspect of a football player, makes defender look like kids of street football ( Ray should help me out with all those adjectives :-( ), Avg match rating of 8.5.
Neymar - 22 matches, 12 goals, 10 assists, averages 4 shots on target p.m., has been fouled a lot, the magical signing proved why is the next star, great at runs, dribbles, through balls, lacks defensive contribution, Avg rating is 7.7.
The trio of front with Messi at pivote (... maybe no) will surely try to break defense with their clinical and sublime plays. With Messi coming back to his top form and Neymar back with a bang, Barca will surely have a healthy lead if our strikers are in their top form. Predicting goals from Leo and Ney speciallly. Mayhem at ManC !
Negredo - 20 apps, 14 goals and 4 assits, pass success of 75%, one of the complete forward with strength, pace and shooting, Avg rating of 7.1.
Is definitely gonna miss his partner Agüero. But won't be woeful on the account of that. The Spanish duo of Navas and Silva will surely help him out with their plays. Also his strength and 6.1 ft. tall physique will help the blues, given we lack in set pieces.
In all, Barca should go for the kill. Agüero will surely be up for the reverse fixture and would prove dangerous even if it's Camp Nou. Getting away goals will help Blaugranes to stay calm at home. City will either park the bus ( but that would be foolishness ) or go for it. With Fernandinho back but maybe not match fit will also prove decisive. Dzeko- the super sub, may even be City's strong cannon. Thus both teams have a strong bench too. It ends with the fact that team with superior play, superior tactics and superior form will claim the victory.
Battle made in heavens.
Visca él Barca !