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Barcelona vs Sporting Gijon Spanish Primera Liga preview – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 21st, 2010 by Ian

Barcelona vs Sporting Gijon Spanish Primera Liga preview
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Sixth-place Barcelona will take on 12th-place Sporting Gijon at home at the Nou Camp on Sept. 22 in a Spanish Primera Division game, but will have to do without injured star Lionel Messi.

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola stated that Messi is irreplaceable, but thinks his team should still be able to pull off a victory without him against Sporting Gijon. Messi suffered ligament damage to his ankle during Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid on Sept. 19. The injury happened after Atletico Madrid’s Tomas Ujfalusi brought him down with an unfair tackle near the end of the game. Ujfalusi received his second yellow card for the challenge and was sent off. It’s believed that Messi will be out for about 10 days to two weeks.

Guardiola said the injury isn’t too serious and Messi’s lucky he didn’t suffer a broken ankle on the play. However, he added that he doesn’t think Ujfalusi was trying to injure Messi and hopes that he’ll be ready to play next week in Barcelona’s Champions League matchup against Rubin Kazan.

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With Messi out injured, Guardiola might move Andres Iniesta to a more forward position on the left side and start Pedro on the right in a three-man forward line. But since they have an away match at Athletic Bilbao this weekend along with the trip to Russia next week, Guardiola may choose to rotate his squad. He said he knows Gijon manager Manolo Preciado well and knows what to expect from the opposition.

Barcelona was embarrassed in their last home game as they lost 2-0 to newly-promoted side Hercules and have six points out of a possible nine, three behind first-place Valencia and one behind arch rivals Real Madrid.

Sporting Gijon has four points, but blew a 2-0 lead at home against Bilbao on Sept. 18 and had to settle for a 2-2 draw. The team will be without striker Nacho Novo as he is suffering from a hamstring injury. He’ll also miss their next game against Valencia. Preciado will probably rotate his squad and could rest several players against Barcelona.

Barcelona vs Sporting Gijon Betting Odds and Predictions

Even without Messi, Barcelona should be too strong for Sporting Gijon and a 3-1 win seems like a good possibility.

Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a Barcelona win listed at 1/10 with a Gijon victory posted at 20/1 and the odds of a draw at 8/1. A 3-1 Barcelona win is listed at 10/1.

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