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FC Barcelona: 7 Things to Fear About Bayer Leverkusen's Return Visit

Roberto Alvarez-GallosoChief Writer IMarch 6, 2012

FC Barcelona: 7 Things to Fear About Bayer Leverkusen's Return Visit

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    FC Barcelona is expected to face Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League. The match will take place on March 7, 2012 at Camp Nou in Barcelona.

    La Blaugrana enters the match with a recent victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg. Barca is also first in the 2011-2012 UEFA ranking compared with 32nd for Leverkusen.

    While it is expected that La Blaugrana may defeat Bayer Leverkusen in this match, nothing is guaranteed. Barca should fear seven things from Bayer Leverkusen which will be addressed in this slideshow.

    The fears come from within and outside of La Blaugrana. The decision was made to address the fears in a slideshow.

    An invitation is sent to the readers of B/R to sit back, relax and reflect on what could happen.

1. Complacency

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    La Blaugrana has a tendency to be complacent at times during their matches especially after victories. As a Barca supporter, I attended the friendly match against Chivas of Guadalajara in the year 2011.

    It was expected that La Blaugrana would defeat Chivas of Guadalajara in Miami, Florida. Barca appeared to be overconfident about its victory before and during the match.

    Gerard Pique was interviewed the day before the match in the Univision program "Despierta America" by one of their hosts, Satcha Pretto. While it is great that Barca enjoyed Miami, Chivas of Guadalajara was nowhere seen.

    On the day of the match, Chivas of Guadalajara came from behind and snatched victory from Barca in front of more than 70,000 spectators. The match was a horrible showing of complacency.

    The moral of this slideshow is the following: Complacency is the worst fear since it can defeat a team from within.

2. Eric Abidal

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    When a great athlete is injured, there is another example of an internal fear. The injury (if there are no substitutes of the same or better quality) can hurt a team during a match.

    Eric Abidal was injured in the hip during a friendly match between France and Germany. The match resulted in a victory for France.

    Abidal played the whole match and paid a heavy price for it. Abidal is expected to be out of contention for 10 days including the important match against Leverkusen. 

3. Thiago Alcantara

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    Thiago Alcantara will probably not participate in the UEFA Champions League match against Leverkusen. The reason is an injury in the right tibia (leg bone).

    The lesson from these slideshows is that injuries may represent an internal fear when there are no replacements who could perform the same or better.

4. Bernd Leno

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    After discussing the internal fears within Barca, we will shift gears to the fear of Bayer Leverkusen.

    Bernd Leno is one of the most feared goalkeepers of Bayer Leverkusen and the Bundesliga. Leno has played 1,980 minutes within the Bundesliga.

    According to the statistics from ESPN Soccernet, Leno has eight clean sheets and 60 saves within 22 matches of the 2011-2012 Bundesliga season.

    Leno is disciplined and tenacious as a goalkeeper. He is a person to be watched in the upcoming match between FC Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen.

5. Lars Bender

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    Lars Bender is another person from Leverkusen to be feared by Barca. Bender is a midfielder who has clocked 1,986 minutes within Leverkusen.

    According to ESPN Soccernet, Bender scored the two winning goals for Leverkusen against Cologne. The following record for Bender in the 2011-2012 Bundeliga season three assists, four goals and 20 shots within 23 matches.

    Bender should not be underestimated by Barca or any club.

6. Stephen Kiessling

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    Stephen Kiessling is another person from Bayer Leverkusen to be feared in the UEFA Champions League match at Camp Nou. According to ESPN Soccernet, Kiessling scored four assists, six goals and 41 shots within 23 matches during the 2011-2012 Bundesliga season.

    During the match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich (as reported by ESPN Soccernet), Kiessling surprised Munich with a header for a goal in the 80th minute.

    The match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich was supposed to be in favor of Munich. Kiessling and Bellarabi proved otherwise.

7. Andre Schurrle

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    Andre Schurrle is another player from Bayer Leverkusen to be feared. According to ESPN Soccernet, Schurrle has two assists, three goals and 50 shots within 20 matches.

Conclusion

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    There is a lot to be feared with Bayer Leverkusen. An invitation is made to Barca supporters all over the world to support our team.

    My thanks to the readers of B/R for their time in viewing this slideshow of Barca vs. Leverkusen. I want to close with the "Hymn to Barcelona" song interpreted by the Spanish/French singer Manu Chao.

     

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