FC Barcelona first team are in Seville

Messi and Pinto getting off the plane / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB
After taking off from Barcelona at 10.30. the squad landed in Seville at 11.55

The FC Barcelona squad has arrived in Seville – reaching the Andalusia capital just before noon after their 10.30 take off from Barcelona airport. The team face Betis at the Benito Villamarín at 21.00 tonight in round 13 of La Liga.

The 18-man squad is accompanied by Club Vice-president Javier Faus, board members  Pilar Guinovart and Silvio Elías and Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta.

Resting at the team hotel

The players will stay at the team hotel – The Hotel Gran Melià Colón until this evening, when after a short tactical talk they will leave for the Benito Villamarín.

LIVE! FC Barcelona – Zürich Frauen (UEFA Women's Champions League)

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Match between FC Barcelona and Zürich Frauen in the Round of 16 (first leg) of UEFA Women’s Champions League, held at Miniestadi (Barcelona).

Match between FC Barcelona and Zürich Frauen in the Round of 16 (first leg) of UEFA Women’s Champions League, held at Miniestadi (Barcelona).

PREVIEW – The leaders are going to Betis without Piqué or Busquets for the final match before the international break

Messi and Cesc celebrate a goal / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
The leaders are going to Betis without Piqué or Busquets for the final match before the international break

Barça have only won two of their last eleven games at the Villamarín

On Sunday night (21.00, Canal Plus), FC Barcelona face a trip to the Benito Villamarín, a ground at which they have struggled to get results this century. And they’re going to Seville without Gerard Piqué or Sergio Busquets. The former is out as a precautionary measure and the latter is being rested, and their absences will make what is already a difficult fixture even harder still. Bur despite Martino’s rotation system, Barça are still unbeaten this season, and will hoping things stay that way for the upcoming international break.

Song to start?

Tata Martino doesn’t like to give things away before matches, but there was a strong implication in his words on Friday that Alex Song will be in the first eleven for this game, which would be the logical choice as the Cameroonian is the natural replacement for Busquets. Changes will also have to be made to the centre of defence. Puyol and Bartra look likely to be chosen in the absence of Piqué, but there is also the possibility of fielding Mascherano in that position.

Two wins from eleven

FC Barcelona have struggled tremendously in trips to the Villamarín of late. The Catalans have only taken all three points twice in their last eleven visits, a 4-1 win in 2005/06 and a 2-1 victory last season. But Betis are in deep trouble this term, and have the added setbacks of the absences of their injured goalkeeper Guillermo Sara as well as Perquis, Juanfran Moreno, Lorenzo Reyes and Rubén Castro. To make matters worse, Chica is suspended.

MATCH REPORT- Barça B lose 3-0 at home to Jaén

Barça B lost at home to Jaén / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB
Goals from Machado and Jona just before the break denied Barça B the chance to get back on winning track. A Curto penalty finished them off

Adama and Samper made a difference in the second half, but it wasn´t enough to change the result

MATCH STATS

FC Barcelona B, 0
Real Jaén, 3

FC Barcelona B: Masip, Sergi Gómez, Patric (Sanabria, min 69) Planas, Ilie, Joan Román, Dongou, Babunski, Bagnack (Adama, min 46), Denis & Edu Bedia (Samper, min 46).

Real Jaén: René, Servando, Víctor Curto, Juanma, Jona (Édgar, min 75), Machado (Jeréz, min 86), Hugo Álvarez, Óscar Quesada (Gaitán, min 56), Nando, Kitoko & Jozabed.

Goals: 0-1, Machado, min 11; 0-2, Jona, min 41, 0-3, Curto, min 86

Referee: López Acera

Barça B have suffered at the hands of one of their most direct rivals. The Andalusians went two-up through Machado and Jona, and despite Eusebio sending on Adama, Samper and Sanabria in the second half, they couldn’t get back into the game, and a Curto penalty completed Jaen’s job. The match was preceded with a minute’s silence in memory of youth player Adrià Vilamitjana of Gironès-Sabat.

Unexpected shock

Both teams were clearly desperate for the three points at the Miniestadi. Barça went for a very attack-minded formation and almost scored early on through Joan Roman, while there were also claims for a penalty on Dongou.

But despite FCB’s strong start, the first half was an evenly balanced affair. However, Jaén had only caused trouble with a few long-range efforts before a Jona pass found Machado, who went on a solo run before slotting the ball beneath Masip.

Positive input

The setback didn’t cause Eusebio to change his tactics, and Joan Román and Dongou were particularly effective as the home side pressed forward in search of an equaliser.  Dongou came closest with a left-footed strike that skimmed wide of the post. Barça B were well on top at this point, but the goal just didn’t want to come.

Unfair punishment

Considering the display the reserves were starting to produce, what happened at the end of the half was a cruel blow. In the 41st minute, Jona  broke brilliantly through the Barça defence to connect with a cross from the right and beat Masip at the near post.

Fresh air from Adama and Samper

Eusebio sent on two fresh pairs of legs at half-time, and both substitutes excelled. Adama added depth to the right wing and Samper controlled the tempo in midfield.

Denis Suárez almost scored from a free-kick, but goalkeeper René pulled off a fine save. It seemed incredible that the Blaugrana hadn’t found the net.

No reward

Eusebio sent on Sanabria late in the game to add even more firepower to his forward line, but the game ended in the worst possible fashion. Adama committed a highly questionable penalty and was red carded. Curto stepped up to take the spot kick, and converted to make the final scoreline 3-0 to the visitors.

@NeymarJr is the most popular player in Brazil according to a survey conducted two months ago

Neymar Jr on the day of his presentation at FC Barcelona / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Neymar is the most popular player in Brazil according to a survey conducted Stochos Sports & Entertainmentand published in O’Globo

Argentinian striker Leo Messi is also a big bit in Brazil

A study by Stochos Sports & Entertainment has revealed something we really knew already. That Neymar Jr is the most popular footballer in Brazil. But what is most surprising is how popular FC Barcelona are in his country.

The study was conducted from August 25 to September 30, 2013 and covered all social classes (A to D) and people of both genders aged 16 to 65 in every state of the country. And Neymar came out tops.

Number 1

The Barça striker got a huge 32.1% of the votes. And he was followed in the voting by his club colleague Leo Messi, winner of the last four editions of the Ballon d’Or and who got 9.1% of the votes. Ronaldinho, who also has a Barça past, came third with 8.1%.

Big with the ladies

Neymar Jr got an even bigger share, 35.7%, when only counting the votes by the female population. The man whose legions of lady supporters are known as the ‘Neymarzetes’ was far and away the leader in this respect, with Ronaldinho coming second with 7.9%.

But it is not only Brazilian women who are fervent admirers of Neymat. 30.4%. of men also voted for him, with Leo Messi second with 11.7%.

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