his Barcelona side.It should be enough to beat a team like M

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his Barcelona side.It should be enough to beat a team like M

Postby blueberryjerry » 17 Jun 2017 03:47

In his latest column, Guillem Balague says Barcelonas dependence on Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is becoming excessive. Independence Day Jersey . Sky Sports Spanish expert also looks at Zinedine Zidanes tactical masterclass against Atletico Madrid, who are struggling defensively under Diego Simeone.Balague also answers your Twitter questions, including the likelihood of Messi joining Manchester City, and whether Luis Suarez deserves to win the Ballon dOr ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Barcelona have dropped seven points at home in the league, which is unheard of in recent times. In Alaves and Malaga, they have come up against five at the back and they took points from them, but this Barcelona side should still beat that.They had 29 shots in the 0-0 draw against Malaga, with eight on target, and 99 times out of 100 they would win that game - but they didnt on this occasion.This is a Barcelona made for the front three. If two of them are missing - like Messi and Suarez were against Malaga - then they do not seem to be as comfortable or have as many collective answers as they used to in the past. Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by Malaga in La Liga In the four games they dropped points, Messi has either not featured or hasnt played the 90 minutes, which again suggests their excessive dependence on him. Theyve only gone five games without conceding this season, and the second line arent adding a lot - Denis Suarez, Arda Turan, Lucas Digne, Paco Alcacer and Andre Gomes all have to improveThe fact that its Barcelonas worst start since 2004 suggests that this league is the strongest it has been for many years. But it was also a weaker, more predictable Barcelona.Real second string providing welcome headache for ZidaneIts interesting that Real have managed to win difficult games without one or two of their superstars. They did it against Real Sociedad, Real Betis and of course Atletico Madrid - with Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos all missing the 3-0 derby win over Atletico. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 39th career hat-trick to help Real to a dominant win over rivals Atletico Madrid Injuries have worked in favour of Zidane, and the likes of Lucas Vazquez, Nacho, Mateo Kovacic and Isco all look hungry. The second line of players have responded really well and that hasnt happened so well for Barcelona or Atletico.I have criticised Zidane a lot in the past because he hadnt done enough for the team at times, and what I hear from the changing room is that he is not the most motivational of coaches. However, he actually did some very interesting things against Atletico which meant he regained some credit.Firstly, to have Gareth Bale on the left and Lucas on the right in a midfield five, they had to track Atleticos full-backs. And they both did really well, which is not always easy as Atletico create so much danger in the wide areas. Guillem Balague reserved special praise for Zinedine Zidane, having previously criticised the Real Madrid coach Zidane also played Isco in a free role in behind Ronaldo, who is looking more and more comfortable as a nine. Isco always found space in that position and Atletico did not know how to deal with it.Thats now 29 games without losing for the fourth time in their history and you have to give credit to Zidane. Not only does he have a calm demeanour, but he has managed to benefit from their injuries, getting everybody competitive. Atletico was their biggest test of the season so far and you have to give Zidane top marks.Are Atletico becoming too attack-minded?There is a divide in the Atletico camp about Kokes position. If he plays in central midfield, the team becomes better offensively and they score more. But it also becomes weaker defensively; for instance, they have conceded in five consecutive games for the first time under Diego Simeone. Highlights of the Madrid derby between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid In the first half against Real Madrid, it seemed less intense from Atletico when they were without the ball, and they looked stretched in terms of positioning. They could not deal with Isco, when in the past they would have.Antoine Griezmann has gone five league games without scoring and they have conceded eight goals in the last four. In their three last defeats, they did not even score. So thats where Atletico are now.Its interesting to consider why Simeone perhaps thought of leaving in the summer. Maybe he felt he had given as much as he could with this side, while perhaps he thought that he could not improve them.After losing points against Alaves and Leganes, he went for a more offensive team, which appeared to be working. But in recent games it hasnt, so Simeone has to decide which way to go now that he is dedicated to Atletico in the short-term. Hes going to have to decide whether he goes back to the essence or if he continues with this new Atletico. Atletico Madrids French forward Antoine Griezmann has struggled in front of goal in the past five games Guillem answers your Twitter questionsDo you think Messi will leave Barcelona for Manchester City? Lesley @shortielady7I dont think so. After El Classico in December, Messi, his dad Jorge, and Barcelona will meet up. Barca want to make sure hes happy with the finances and everything else. Its the priority for Messi to stay, but there are things that have to be sorted.Firstly, the wages - seeing the strong squad they have, Barcelona must renew the key players and Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta are likely to be next.Secondly, there is the tax case, where there will be an appeal in the summer. We will have to see what the situation with that is, and how that affects both Messi and his dad personally.Thirdly, Messi might want to let the contract run out but Barcelona are convinced that will not happen.I have said in the past that it has entered his mind to leave Barcelona, but that doesnt mean he will. We are in the same position. If it gets to a day when he has to say yes or no, I think he will stay at Barcelona. Luis Suarez is a contender for the Ballon dOr, having won the Golden Shoe award for his goalscoring exploits last season Do you think Suarez will win the Ballon dOr like he should? Rory ‏@RoryOCGMessi is ahead of Suarez in terms of importance to Barcelona but it feels like Ronaldo will win it this time. He scored a hat-trick against Atletico on the weekend and there is just over a week before the end of voting.A lot of people will argue that Ronaldo did not play well in the Champions League final, but of course he scored a penalty - perhaps this is not enough to win the Ballon dOr as he was injured in the Euro 2016 final as well.But... he was important to Portugal in the Euros and for Real against Wolfsburg in the Champions League, so well see. It looks like Ronaldo is ahead, but lets not forget that Messi won the league and cup with Barcelona.Will Isco start to get more game time after his display in the derby? Amin AlHawareen ‏@AmeenAlHawareenThe impression we all have is that when Benzema is back, he will revert to 4-3-3 which takes Isco out the side. He gave a really good display against Atletico but he does not do that consistently enough, but he should be ahead of Benzema right now. Theres no doubt about it but I dont think Zidane agrees with that. Balague says Tottenhan fans can forget about signing Isco (left) in January Any update on proposed Isco to Spurs in January? Ross J ‏@pennywiseKForget it, its not going to happen. Zero chances of that happening. Real are seeing that he is improving and they are thinking of giving him a new contract.Remember, Real cannot sign for two transfer windows.Whatll be Enriques tactics in future after this weeks huge upset? Especially without stars like Messi and Suarez. @me_rishabh7The front three normally wins them every game. The problem is that when they are not there, there is not enough layers in this Barcelona side.It should be enough to beat a team like Malaga, but there wont be any changes of tactics. Theyll continue with the same idea. Also See: Ronaldo hat-trick downs Atleti Win trip to Sevilla v Real Madrid Barca held by nine-man Malaga Pique: Barca form worrying Custom USA Soccer Jersey . -- Michael Bennett gambled last off-season that playing on a one-year deal in Seattle would pay off in the future with the long-term contract he always wanted. Geoff Cameron Jersey . Watch the announcement live on TSN.ca at 12:30pm et/9:30am pt. This years honourees will be recognized at the 2014 Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic, scheduled for June 23-24 in Vancouver. http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/deandre-yedlin-usa-jersey/ . Booth picked up 65 caps after making her national team debut in 2002 at the age of 17. She most recently played for Sky Blue FC of the National Womens Soccer League. "It just felt like it was my time to move on," she said in a phone interview from her hometown of Burlington, Ont.It appears Eric Staal has played his last hockey game for this season. 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