LONG BALL?

The prospect of Barcelona playing long ball football looked highly unlikely a few years ago under the management of Guardiola. Even when faced with extremely defensive opposition, Barcelona struck with their philosophy of passing the ball in order to open the opposition.

New manager Gerardo Martino, though, has brought in different ideas since taking over the club in the summer. Barcelona were recently extremely frustrated in the Champions league match against Ajax. This resulted in the team playing a couple of long balls, which has come under intense criticism from the fans and media.

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VILLAREAL MAKE DREAM START

Villarreal have made a stunning return to la Liga by winning all the opening matches of the season. The three victories from the three matches of the season has put Villarreal joint top of the table along with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid.

It is an incredible start to the season for a club that was promoted to the top division of Spanish football only in the summer. They spend the last season in the second division. Villarreal have been a top-flight club in the last decade, but relegation last season proved extremely difficult.

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CESC NOT FOR SALE

Barcelona have categorically stated that midfielder Cesc Fabregas is not for sale at any price after it is understood that Premier league outfit Manchester United are preparing a third bid for the player.

United are already have had two bids rejected for the 26-year-old. Their first offer of £ 25 million was made in the middle of July, while they recently upped their offer to £ 30 million plus a few appearance based bonuses. It is understood that Barcelona have said that Fabregas will not be sold at any price.

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NEYMAR JOINS

Barcelona have managed to pull off a transfer coup by signing highly rated Brazilian youngster Neymar on a five-year contract. The Santos striker is widely regarded as one of the hottest young players in world football.

VILANOVA RULES OUT REAL

The animosity and rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is well-known. There have been very few players who have managed to switch between the two clubs. Now, the Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has said that there are many jobs in this world that he would be prepared to take, but managing Real Madrid is not one of them.

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NO TRUTH IN RUMOURS

The Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez has claimed that there is no truth in the transfer rumours that he is about to leave the club in the January transfer window in search of regular first-team football. The former Udinese striker arrived at the club during the reign of Guardiola and was a regular for the throughout last season.

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XAVI BACKS TITANOVA

One of the best players at Barcelona – Xavi Hernandez – has said that it is a pleasure to work with the current manager Tito Vilanova, who has been able to match Barcelona's best start to a league season in his first season as a manager. Xavi Hernandez has worked with some of the best managers in the world like Frank Rijkaard and Guardiola.

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Bet on Real Madrid instead

Looking at the La Liga table, the top three clubs are Barcelona at number 1, Atletico Madrid at number 2 and Real Madrid at number 3. The points difference between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid is 6, while the points difference between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid is 5.

Thus, you well might wonder why you are being advised to bet on Real Madrid rather than on FC Barcelona, and you are fully justified in wondering it. The point though is that betting on football is not like betting at an online casino.

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KHEDIRA ADMITS DEFEAT

The Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has said that it will now be difficult to catch the la Liga leaders Barcelona in the title race after they failed to beat the Catalan club in the recently held El Clasico between the two clubs.

The German international was one of the impressive players for Real Madrid in the recent 2-2 draw with Barcelona. Real Madrid had an excellent match, but they were unable to get the vital goal that would have given them three points in the match. It would have helped them to reduce the lead at the top of the table to just five points.

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XAVI BACKS VILANOVA

The Barcelona midfielder Xavi has said that he is extremely confident that the new manager Tito Vilanova can be as successful as the former manager Pep Guardiola. The former Barcelona captain took over the reins from Frank Rijkaard in 2008 and made Barcelona one of the most successful clubs in the world in the last few years.

He has also changed the philosophy of the club to the glory days of Cruyff, will also be responsible for making the Argentine Lionel Messi one of the best players in the world. During the last few years, Barcelona have lifted an astonishing 16 trophies.

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