La Liga: Barcelona vs. Racing Santander
FC Barcelona will try to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid when they host Racing Santander this evening.
The failure cut the Catalans’ lead at the summit of La Liga to just two points, with Real Madrid having continued their fine winning streak 24 hours earlier.
The defending champions will also be hoping not to lose any more players to injury after Xavi Hernandez and Seydou Keita both suffered leg injuries at Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Coach Pep Guardiola’s main concern will be to get their trademark quick-passing game working effectively again without Xavi, after their below-par showing against Los Colchoneros.
Barca’s list of injured players is stunning, but at least centre backs Gerard Pique and Rafael Marquez will be back from suspension, while Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Yaya Toure have returned to fitness.
“I can’t wait for Saturday to arrive,” said Pique on Wednesday. “It is difficult to miss matches and not be able to help the team.”
The match kicks-off at 20:00 CET (2:00 p.m. ET).
UPDATE: The Catalans are back in command in La Liga after a 4-0 home thrashing of Racing Santander. Andres Iniesta, Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez posted first-half goals while Thiago added another late on.