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GUARDIOLA WILL USE SQUAD

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that he will be utilising more of a squad in the coming weeks in order to cope with the demands of playing in the European competition and the domestic league.

Barcelona have just made it into the semifinals of the Champions League after beating AC Milan 3-1 at the Camp Nou. It was a win that has set up a match against Chelsea in the semifinals, which will be a repeat of the match the two clubs played each other in the 2008-09 season. This match often marked the beginning of the success for Barcelona, as they have won 13 out of the 16 possible trophies since then.

Barcelona manager Guardiola has often resisted rotating the squad, but he is now going to be forced into rotating his squad ahead of the match with Real Zaragoza during the weekend. They will be looking to keep up with the leaders Real Madrid, who have also qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League.

With the El Clasico between the two clubs only a few weeks away, Barcelona will be looking to close the gap as soon as possible. Many expect Barcelona to win the El Clasico, which will take place at the Camp Nou.

“All I can ask is that they are not at their best on the day and we all go out and compete and let people see that the team gives everything it has. It is clear that coaches want to use their entire squad, but Barcelona are a team that have no problems rotating their team because of the resources they have,” Manolo Jimenez said in the press conference just ahead of the match. Real Madrid have a tough match against Valencia, and will not be playing until Monday.

SPAIN KEEP WINNING STREAK

Spain secured their 27th consecutive home victory in the match against Venezuela recently.

Roberto Soldado played a major part in helping Spain secured this important victory.

Even though this was a friendly, Spain did not take their chances lightly and fielded a strong line-up that include the likes of Roberto Soldado and Andreas Iniesta. It was Iniesta who opened the scoring early in the match after calmly slotting past the Venezuela goalkeeper.

Cesc Fabregas was the architect of this goal, while the former Arsenal midfielder was once again at the heart of things to set up David Silva for the second goal just before half-time. Even after securing a two-goal advantage at home against Venezuela, Spain were not content with the performance.

Hence, Spain manager Vicente del Bosque brought on Roberto Soldado at the start of the second half in order to increase the tempo. Roberto Soldado was in place of former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, who has been dropped due to poor form for Chelsea.

Fernando Torres has not scored a goal for Chelsea since October, and after repeated warnings, Vicente del Bosque has decided to drop the striker from the squad. Roberto Soldado proved his worth by scoring a hat-trick in the second half, thus making it even more difficult for Fernando Torres to come back into the squad.

In the end, Spain managed to win the match after scoring five goals. Roberto Soldado was making his return to international football after a huge five years, but he made no qualms about being left out of the squad for such a long period by scoring a hat-trick. Even though this hat-trick was against a poor Venezuela side, is now highly likely that Roberto Soldado will be part of the Euro 2012 squad instead of Fernando Torres.

VILLA INJURY MAY COST SPAIN

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has said that the injury to David Villa is extremely unfortunate to both Barcelona and the Spanish national team.

David Villa fractured his tibia in the match against Al Sadd in the semifinals of the Club World Cup. Even though Barcelona won the match quite comfortably, Pep Guardiola has said that the injury to David Villa will certainly weaken the team quite badly. Still, he refused to worry too much about the injury and wanted to focus on the final of the Club World Cup with Brazilian club Santos.

The future of David Villa has come under intense speculation of late. It has been reported that both manager Guardiola and striker David Villa have fallen out of each other. It seems to be the exact repeat of the situation with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish striker complained that Guardiola was putting too much impetus on Lionel Messi without concentrating on the other members of the squad. In the end, Barcelona took a major hit by selling Zlatan Ibrahimovic for just around £ 20 million after having signed him for a total of around £ 60 million only a season ago. David Villa came to the Camp Nou in a deal worth around £ 35 million.

It is highly unlikely that the Catalan club will be able to recoup the money from the striker, who has just turned 30 years of age and has injured his tibia. “Villa is going back for an operation. Don’t ask me about a replacement for that particular player, we will have to play without him to become champions of the world. We will try to our best in the circumstances we find ourselves, we would like to be world champions,” Guardiola told reporters after the match with Al Sadd.

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