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FC Barcelona News: 15 March 2014: Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol Injured, 18 Man Squad Announced

David Ramos

The squad of eighteen to face Osasuna at the Camp Nou was named at midday on Saturday, and there is no place for Carles Puyol. The captain is struggling with a sprained knee joint and will need specific treatment over the next few days, whereupon his condition will be analysed once again. Gerard Piqué is also left out as a precautionary measure due to some ankle trouble, while Tata Martino has also opted to do without Oier, Sergi Roberto or Afellay, in addition to the injured Cuenca and Dos Santos.

Gerardo Martino told his press conference on the day before the game with Osasuna that Barça "have to change their image shown against Valladolid … but we will still have plenty of chances to keep battling, even though things may not be in our hands anymore. So there’s no doubt that tomorrow’s game is a very important one." The next game after that will be away to Real Madrid on Sunday March 22, but Martino preferred not to discuss that one quite yet. "We have to get through the game with Osasuna and then we'll have a whole week to think about Madrid" he insisted.

The Reds have struggled to find a consist option on the left side of their defence, with Jose Enrique and loan signing Aly Cissokho failing to hold down a regular role this term. Now reports in Spain suggest Barcelona’s Brazilian flyer Adriano is the man being lined up for a switch to Anfield in the summer. It’s claimed that Rodgers is willing to offer £6million to get the 29-year-old out of Barca at the end of the campaign, with a deal on the cards.

Oh, Xavi. What a player he is, even now, aged 34 and with 250,000 miles on that refined dashboard clock. In fact there was something agreeably warm and nostalgic about seeing that familiar keep-ball trinity, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi once again in action against an English team.

The Barça v Osasuna match is yet another final for both teams. Barça are playing to keep alive their League title hopes, and Osasuna to remain above the relegation places. Classification aside, the match throws up some interesting connections between the two squads.

Wherever he goes, Leo Messi, star of FC Barcelona and the Argentine National Team, is a player who raises passions around the globe. This is clearly shown in a video produced by the television program ‘Leo’s World’, which captures images of Barça and Argentinian fans, and above all, opponents, praising the Barça number 10.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes the Spanish title race will not be decided until the final day of the season. Leaders Real are three points ahead of Atletico Madrid, while Barcelona are a point further back, with 11 games left. "The players are aware that La Liga will be decided in the final match of the season," said Ancelotti.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has warned against looking ahead to next weekend's Clasico clash with Barcelona before his side travel to face Malaga on Saturday. Los Blancos have opened up a four-point advantage on third-placed Barca at the top of La Liga with 11 games to go and could all but end the Catalans' hopes of retaining their title with victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 23. "At the moment the next game in the league is against Malaga and we are concentrated on playing well there and getting the three points," he said on Thursday.

Cosmin Contra was denied a winning start to his tenure as Getafe coach as Granada fought back to earn a 3-3 draw on Friday. Getafe parted company with Luis Garcia on Monday following a 12-game winless run in La Liga but Contra was unable to provide the perfect tonic in a game that saw both teams reduced to 10 men.

They came, they played and they conquered. In one of the most memorable matches ever played in the region, former stars of FC Barcelona beat their Real Madrid counterparts 2-1 to lift the Oman Legends Cup at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher Friday evening. Real Madrid featured some of their greatest players of all time such as Michel Salgado, Fernando Hierro, Francesco Pavon, Ruben, Amavisca, Fernando Sanz, David Belenguer and Velasco while Barcelona played with stars like 56-year-old Victor Munoz, who made 250 appearances for the team along with the legendary Francesco Coco, Robert, Nadal, Mendieta, Luis Milla, Giuly, Garcoa, Esquerro and Goiko.

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