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Liga Preview: Zaragoza-Barcelona
Zaragoza - Barcelona | News Archive

Terrible season for the Aragon club (Allsport)
05/10/2002. FC Barcelona depend on a victory as well as favourable results on Sunday night to clinch their ticket to next year's Champions League. They will be facing a depressed Real Zaragoza side, who was relegated last week to Segunda Division after 25 years in the top flight.

La Romareda will bid goodbye to Primera Liga only days after Zaragoza fans clashed with their team, with Toro Acuna and Milosevic involved in a terrible brawl in the crucial game with Villarreal that condemned the club to Segunda.

All eyes will be on Barcelona, who have had another tumultuous week after learning that former coach Louis Van Gaal could replace under-fire Carles Rexach at the end of the season.

This piece of news has irritated the Barça dressing room, who refused to comment on Van Gaal's return to business in Catalonia. Reactions poured into local radio, tv and newspapers, with the likes of Stoichkov threatening to scrap his "socio subscription" if Van Gaal comes back.


Zaragoza are without suspended Savo Milosevic and Toro Acuna, who did not escape sanction after last week's fracas. The relegated Aragon club will be looking to prepare next season as soon as Sunday night by fielding a local promising talent, Ruben Garcia Cani. Fresh from Zaragoza's "cantera", Cani could make his debut from the first minute against Barça.

PL: 4-5-1 Láinez, Cuartero, Paco, Rebosio, Pablo; José Ignacio, Aragón, Galletti, Corona, Vellisca; Drulic.

La Romareda has never been a friendly place to play in for Barcelona. The setting will be slightly different this time with the home side suffering relegation. Rivaldo is doubtful again for his team's last match of the season. His knee injury could even keep him out of the forthcoming World Cup. Gerard, Francesco Coco and Sergi are all out through injury, as well as Philippe Christanval.

PL: 4-4-2 Bonano; Puyol, Abelardo, De Boer, Motta; Luis Enrique, Xavi, Cocu, Kluivert; Overmars, Saviola.


Zaragoza, last six matches: DDDLLL
No wonder Zaragoza went down after such a poor run. Defeats against Alaves, Celta and Villarreal pushed the club to Segunda. Before that, Zaragoza only picked up three points from their games with Valladolid, Las Palmas and Ath Bilbao.

Barcelona: WLLWDW
A defeat at Celta almost put Barça out of the Champions League race, which would have added insult to injury in an already very disappointing season. Home wins against Villarreal and Espanyol in the Catalan derby gave them a lifeline but the Zaragoza game is still vital for their CL hopes.


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