Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Trophy of the Season Could be Won Tonight

Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou tonight, taking a 2-1 aggregate lead from the first leg away at San Mames.

The game should turn out to be an easy affair for Barcelona with Athletic Bilbao not placing much importance on the fixture, opting to save them for the Europa league qualification game against Tromso later. Athletic coach Joaquin Caparros has elected to rest eight key players for the game.

Apart from Aitor Ocio and Fernando Amorebieta, who have slight knocks, Yeste, Markel Susaeta, Javi Martinez, Iker Muniain and Oscar De Marcos have been left out of the squad.

Fernando Llorente has been included, but is unlikely to play.

Barca, however, are at nearly full strength, with only Iniesta and Marquez, plus long time absentee Gabriel Milito, unavailable. It is believed that the former pair should be ready for the first league game of the season, against Sporting Gijon. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets his first official call-up to the squad, while Marc Muniesa, Andreu Fontas, Jonathan Dos Santos and Jeffren have also been called

Barcelona squad

Valdés, Pinto, Jorquera; Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Henrique, Fontàs, Muniesa, Maxwell, Abidal; Xavi, Touré, Keita, Busquets, Gudjohnsen, Jonathan; Pedro, Jeffren, Messi, Henry, Ibrahimovic, Bojan

Athletic Bilbao squad

Iraizoz, Toquero, Koikili, Ustaritz, David López, Llorente, Gabilondo, San José, Armando, Iraola, Orbaiz, Etxeberria, Gurpegi, Ion Vélez, Castillo, De Cerio, Iturraspe, Xabi Etxebarria