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FC Barcelona News: 2 March 2013: Xavi Ruled Out For 10-15 Days

Barcelona will be without Xavi today as they prepare to take on Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Victor Fraile

Liga - Barcelona's Xavi out for fortnight - Yahoo! Eurosport UK

The Spain playmaker had a relapse on a muscle problem when Liga leaders Barca were knocked out of the Copa del Rey 3-1 at home by Real in a semi-final second leg on Tuesday. Xavi had just returned from a similar injury in his right leg two weeks ago in time for the games against AC Milan and Sevilla, and will be a doubt for Barca's Champions League last 16 second leg at home to Milan on March 12.

The timing of the second Clasico in five days is just right for Barça to put Tuesday’s defeat (1-3) behind them and recover the brilliant league form they’ve been showing all season. A win at the Bernabéu – where Roura’s team could easily have won the first leg of their Cup semi-final which ended in a 1-1 draw – would be a massive step towards confirming the league title, with second place Atlético currently second, 12 points adrift, and Real a distant 16 points off the pace.

Roura admitted: "against Milan and Madrid we were not as inspired as usual, but that is no cause for pessimism. The team will go on and we’ll compete for everything. The players’ attitude and work ethic is as always admirable". The coach also agreed that the players were down (after Tuesday’s defeat), but made it clear that the best thing now is to compete and get a positive result on Saturday.

Former Barcelona star Ronald Koeman believes that the Blaugrana have lacked hunger and drive in recent weeks. "I think they lack hunger and other things," he was quoted as saying by Marca. "That they drop off form at an individual and collective level is normal after playing so many games at such a high level. It's impossible to be as great as Barca have been for so many years."

Real Madrid have taken the unusual step of confirming they will hold their training session ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tie against Manchester United at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium. No explanation has been offered for why Madrid are choosing to train at City, though Mourinho, like Ferguson, is wary of his training sessions being spied on, either by the media or those with connections to his opponents.

Azulgrana RoundUp, Week 22 - The Clásico | FC Barcelona

Bouncing back to form after a painful defeat is never easy. However Francesc Aguilar, who writes for 'Mundo Deportivo', declares: "Barça should not fall in the trap of devaluing tomorrow’s match [due to the existing 16-point difference between the two sides]. On the contrary. Tito Vilanova’s men have a chance to pay Madrid back for Tuesday’s defeat in the Cup." Opening the gap to 19 points would certainly give the Blaugrana the morale boost they need "especially with the match against Milan coming up in a couple of weeks."

It would be hard for Laudrup to turn down Real Madrid, says Rangel - Yahoo! Sports

Swansea defender Angel Rangel believes Michael Laudrup would find it hard to turn down Real Madrid if the Spanish giant was to make an approach for him. "Laudrup deserves all the plaudits he gets," Rangel said. "He is having an incredible season. Let's not forget that he was once a Real Madrid player, he is a big figure in world football and if the opportunity arose, it would be difficult for Swansea to keep him here."

La Liga: Malaga's Baptista injures hamstring, will likely miss Atletico match | GMA News Online

Malaga forward Julio Baptista has strained a hamstring muscle in his left leg, the club said on Friday, and is likely to miss the visit of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga this weekend. The 31-year-old Brazil international pulled up in training on Tuesday, having just returned after 15 months out with a string of injuries. Spanish media reported he would be laid low for two to three weeks.

Liga - Getafe beat Zaragoza as both sides see red - Yahoo! Eurosport UK

Getafe's Pedro León and Real Zaragoza's Glenn Loovens were sent off as Getafe defeated Real Zaragoza 2-0 in La Liga at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Adrián Colunga slotted home the opening goal in the 21st minute into the lower right of the net after intercepting José María Movilla's pass and finishing the move with a right-footed shot. Sergio Escudero scored the second as he found the back of the net with a left-footed shot strike that came in the 60th minute.

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