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La Liga: FC Barcelona vs Osasuna: Barca Blaugranes Match Preview Part 2

We aren't afraid of Leo. Honest!
We aren't afraid of Leo. Honest!

Here's the second part of the Barca Blaugranes preview of FC Barcelona vs Osasuna.

In case you missed the first one, you find the link here.

So, to get you prepared for the game, here's the views of the Barca Blaugranes team. (Adi-Oula Sebastian, Bostjan Cernensek, Paul Udani, Shehryar Khan, Gabriel Roberts and I)

Real travel to the Mestalla, will they rest players? If so, does the depth of their squad count in their favour?

Bostjan Cernesek: Depth definitely helps Real and I expect they will rest players. Mourinho will have the Champions League semi-final in mind, as he should, and with the eight point lead Real could play with a completely overhauled team.

Shehryar Khan: Mourinho is certainly going to make changes, and you're quite right.. The kind of depth he has he doesn't really have to worry about it. They would still be strong enough to take 3 points.

Paul Udani: They should. La Liga is done, as far as I'm concerned. They have great depth, so yes that obviously count towards their favour. Shouldn't matter though, Barcelona have one hand on the title already.

Adi-Oula Sebastian: Even if Real Madrid were to rest key players, and let’s be honest here they will, Jose Mourinho still has to luxury of calling up Kaka or Gonzalo Higuain back into the fold. After all, Real Madrid has the strongest bench anywhere in the world.

Gabriel Roberts: I think Mourinho will rest some players, yes, but nobody cares about La Liga any more.

Arron Duckling: Of course. When you can take off Ronaldo, but replace him with Kaka, that is huge. Barcelona do not have that depth, and it could cost them. They can still get results with their second string, can Barcelona? I’m not too sure.

Depending on the decision of Guardiola, we are likely to see how good our squad is as a whole. With this in mind, do you think the Blaugrana need to strengthen in any departments come the off-season? If so, do any names spring to mind?

AOS: I’d say let go of Gabriel Milito and I assume that’s the general consensus and either recall Henrique or buy Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho, young, tall, technically sound, left-footed and already has couple of years of top-level football experience despite his age.

If money was no obstacle I would buy AC Milan’s Thiago Silva too. Let’s face it, Carles Puyol isn’t the youngest and FC Barcelona need at least two more quality center-backs, assuming that neither Marc Muniesa nor Marc Barta will be called up anytime soon.

Perhaps this is an odd choice but I’d buy Aston Villa’s Ashley Young too, mostly because he will be relatively cheap due to his expiring contract or Juan Mata, though I prefer the latter.

Furthermore, if Pep Guardiola once again insists on buying Cesc Fabregas, buy me Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin instead. If reports are to be believed, the Turkish international has a 6 Million Euro buy-out clause, even if he turns out to be a mismatch for FC Barcelona, the club can still make a handsome profit off of him.

Personally, my clear-out list would read like this: Gabriel Milito, Maxwell, Seydou Keita (he’s 31 going on 32 and I don’t see him getting more game time), Jeffren (he needs regular match practice, perhaps a buy-back clause would make sense), Bojan (he has been stalling but it’s not his fault, he has David Villa in front of him).

GR: It's tough to find areas for improvement, but seeing Barcelona play such a fantastic game against Madrid—and come up empty—makes one question the size and strength of this club. We could use some help in the back.

BC: This team could use some strengthening. With Bojan's injury, Barcelona are suddenly very thin up front, so I would add somebody there. Also, while there is a lot of potential at the heart of the defense in the B team, Barcelona could use some extra experience at the back line.

SK: Yes I think we need some guys in defense. Puyol is getting old and he would be hampered with injuries more often than not. Without Puyol, we would need a solid back-up. Batra and Fontas have not been tested so I'm assuming Pep reckons they're not ready yet. A would like to see a back-up for both Dani Alves and Adriano as well. Gokhal Gonul perhaps?

We would also need a solid defensive midfielder. I would like to see Sandro in our squad. Maybe a couple of players good with the long-ball perhaps.

PU: Defensively, we lack depth at centerback. Puyol's injury has forced Mascherano to play in the back 4 because of our Milito-phobia. Obviously, Barcelona needs to find players able to fill in if Puyol or Pique are not there. It could be from the transfer market, more likely that we get one from the cantera (Fontas). Oh, and promote Martin Montoya. I have a feeling the kid is ready, and we need an occasional replacement for Alves.

AD: Barcelona need more players. They need new defenders and an impact player, preferably an attacker. Personally, I would like to see Fontas given more chances, but failing that, I would like to see a no-nonsense guy like Chiellini from Juventus, as he could also play left-back. As an impact player, why not Neymar?

Neyamr would cost a premium, but boy, would he be different. He could play centre-forward, on the wing, and is good enough to start if needed. Also, I would like a player who could give Guardiola a Plan B, like Keisuke Honda, but somehow, I doubt there will be many signings because of Rosell’s obsession with Cesc Fabregas.

In a sentence, the match prediction?

SK: I think we'll get a couple, 2-0 I reckon.

AD: 4-0 Barcelona with goals from Pedro (2), Villa and Thiago. I hope.

AOS: 3-0 for FC Barcelona with goals coming from everyone but David Villa.

PU: Barcelona will be at home, and will be out for blood after the Copa Del Rey slip-up. 3-0 to Barcelona.

GR: Barcelona's second team makes short work of Osasuna.

BC: Barcelona's bench players are good enough to beat Osasuna, Barcelona win 2-0.

Join us tomorrow for our Live Game Thread!

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