Crisis averted. The downfall fo Barcelona had been much discussed after thier loss to AC Milan in the first leg of the Champions League as well as Copa Del Rey and La Liga losses to Real Madrid but Barca emphatically proved the doubters wrong as they romped to a 4-0 win in the Nou Camp over Milan on Tuesday to seal their place in the Champions League quarter finals. Full of confidence, it looks a nigh on impossible job for Vallecano this weekend as they travel to a buoyant Nou Camp.
Recent meetings give even less encouragement to the visitors. In the last four games against Barca, Vallecano have lost all four, conceding nineteen and scoring zero. Away form has not been great of late either with only four wins from their last twenty-one games on their travels. Michu’s ability to score a goal from nothing has been well demonstrated in the Premier League this season for Swansea and his presence has been missed at Rayo this season, particularly in away games. Rayo have failed to score in six of their last ten on the road.
And it seems the worst time to visit the Nou Camp. After going thirteen games without a clean sheet, Barca have kept the opposition at bay in their last two matches and will be keen to maintain this run. Paddy Power offer even money that the hosts can win their third successive game to nil and considering their record in recent meetings with Rayo, that looks very big.
Lionel Messi has scored four in the last two games against Rayo so the Argentine clearly enjoys the match-up. Messi, a devout catholic, declared his joy at the election of his compatriot, Pope Francis, as the new head in the Vatican so we expect an inspired performance this Sunday. By Messi standards, 7/1 (Stan James) against a hat-trick looks a very decent price in what should be a dominant home win as Barcelona look to continue their resurgence.