Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Well I guess that's why they call it the blues

I've only seen Henrique Hilario play 1nce. It was March 1997 and the then much-hyped FC Porto were given a 4-0 walloping by Manchester United, with the Portugese goalkeeper as much a part of United's victory as David Beckham or Eric Cantona. Since that calamitous performance, Hilario has been playing for dead end teams such as Nacional Madeira and Académica. Over the summer he signed for Chelsea as their third choice 'keeper. Tomorrow night he'll face Barcelona.

With both Carlo Cudicini and Petr Cech injured, Cech suffering a fractured skull after taking a knee to the head in the first minute of the Reading game on the weekend, Hilario will make his first start of the season. With the form that FCB are in currently, unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League and with Chelsea looking out of sorts, Sheva and Robben in particular, it's hard to see beyond a result for Barcelona. Messi is on fire at the moment and aside from the long term injury to Eto'o and Belletti, out for two weeks with a dislocated shoulder (meaning he'll miss the next five games. Yes five. Please quote this to anyone who doesn't think there's too much football being played these days), FCB will field their strongest side.

As Eto'o is out, Eidur Gudjohnsen will almost certainly start against his former club with 'dinho and Messi in support, though I'd expect to see Giuly and Saviola at some stage. Messi will no doubt be in for a rough time of it at the Bridge considering what happened last time. At least he won't have Del Horno trying to break his leg again. After a lucky draw against Bremen, the blaugrana need a win here to put them back at the top of the group. I'll stick my neck out and go for a 1-3, with at least one of the gols coming from some farcical error by Hilario.

1 comment:

linda said...

I do hope you're right, but anything can happen in a game like this.

The cartoon in one of the Barcelona papers today was inspired. It had Mourinho going 'I hope the game finishes with 11 vs 11' and Messi saying 'I hope I finish the game with both legs' in the background. Rather worrying, the prospect of Chelsea trying to kick him off the pitch.