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UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: El Clasico Part Four

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Tomorrow night, Barcelona can secure their place in the Champions League final at Wembley. Standing in their way? Why, Real Madrid of course! This is the fifth, and final, instalment in what has become known as the Clasico World Series. It is also the most important. After the 2-0 win in what Mourinho dubbed "The Scandal at the Bernabeu", Barcelona are widely expected to progress to the London final, but you can never be too sure.

Real are a top side, and depending on Mourinho's tactics tomorrow, the Blaugrana might not have it as easy as some think. After all, a side with €300 million worth of talent is surely capable of scoring twice?

That being said, you could argue that Barcelona are getting back to their peak, and with Puyol and Iniesta back in the squad, they are slowly getting their first choice XI back, if not at 100% fitness.

What no-one expected however, was for Abidal to be included in this squad. The Frenchman has apparently recovered far ahead of schedule after an operation to remove a liver tumour, and this will be a huge boost to Guardiola's men. Whether he plays or not is a different matter.

After being rested at the weekend, Valdes will return in goal, and despite their lack of match practice, I think both Puyol and Abidal will start. This means that Barcelona could field their strongest XI, and the last time they faced Madrid? Well, I think we all know what happened...

Good omens for Barcelona

include 9 consecutive home wins in the Champions League, and that no team has ever recovered from a 2-0 defecit in the first leg of a semi-final tie.

While it would be arrogant, and idiotic to predict a repeat of November, a win looks to be on the cards for La Blaugrana, and of course, progress to the showpiece at Wembley. Then the only thing left will be how to get hold of a ticket... ;)


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