Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Ultimate Game: Get Inside Guardiola's Head

With Frank Rijkaard you couldn't get any honour by predicting Barcelona's starting line-up. Even hockey moms could. But this has dramatically changed this summer. Until this very day, nobody has been able to crack the code of Josep Guardiola's brain. Nor has anyone got inside his sleeves.

So this is your chance to prove not only your knowledge about the game of football but also your psychological insight:


This is not (as in: NOT) a place for discussion on team tactics or personal player preferences. You just give the system and the eleven names you think will start the game against Basel on Wednesday.

You put them in the right position, so using the 4-3-3 (or whatever you think he will play) and putting the players from the right to the left, so the right back defender is your first name after the goalkeeper. Note: the central defenders should also be put in the right position (centre right and centre left). If your line-up isn't clear, my interpretation counts.

Don't forget to add your (nick)name by clicking Name/URL under the comment box and fill it in, otherwise your after-game claim to glory will be dismissed.

You can give your starting line-up until four hours before the start of the game, in this case: until 4 pm barcelona time.

If you give your line-up before Guardiola announes his match list, you get one point for the correct line-up. If you do it after that announcement, you get half a point. Who will have 10 points somewhere down this season, can call himself the winner.

This is the third time this game is organized.
Until now, nobody gave the correct line-up.


Anonymous said...

My Predicted Line-up:

I Give Up ...

Anonymous said...

Valdes; Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal; Xavi, Toure, Iniesta; Messi, Eto'o, Henry.

Culefinland said...

Alves - Puyol - Pique - Abidal
Xavi - Hleb
Messi - Henry

pep said...

Note: since Guardiola selected all available players (with exception of jorquera), you get one point.

If you're right, that is...

Anonymous said...





I would to see team like this, but i doubt that pep will give such team chance. Too much risk.

Anonymous said...


Alves puyol caceres abidal


Messi etoo iniesta

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


dani puyol caceres abidal


sergi hleb

bojan henry

Loos said...

Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal;
Xavi, Toure, Hleb;
Messi, Eto'o, Henry

Fanny Söderström said...

Valdés; Alves, Puyol, Cáceres, Abidal; Xavi, Touré, Hleb; Messi, Eto'o, Henry.

Waleed said...


I would've put iniesta for Busquets ,but i think it's his turn to get rested,Hleb? i dont think he should start the match, he could replace Busquets at the second half

barca nike said...


Anonymous said...

Alves, Puyol, Caceres, Sylvinho
Hleb, Xavi
Messi, Henry, Bojan

Anonymous said...

Alves Puyol Pique Caceres
Sanchez Busquets
Hleb Henry

ponnyKID said...


dani puyol pique abidal

xavi toure hleb

messi eto iniesta

Anonymous said...


Alves Marquez Puyol Abidal

Xavi Yaya Hleb

Messi Eto´o Iniesta

Anonymous said...

Hmm .. Not like I will get it right anyways, but what the hell:

-------Yaya Toure--------
--Sergi Buiscuts--Xavi---


Anonymous said...



Puyol Abidal

Xavi Hleb Iniesta


Eto'o Henry

I think puyol pique abidal and busquets can provide a sturdy enough defensive barrier, it's important to be really offensve in the first half and secure a couple of goals early and then around the hour mark take off and attacker for alves who can provide further defensive coverage and still have a deadly attack.

Anonymous said...


Thats how they would line up.

Fan of Beautifull football said...

Alves Pique Caceras Sylvinho

Hleb Toure

Bojan Henry Iniesta

I hope that i am wrong!!!

Anonymous said...


i know there no chance for the formation but this is what i would like to see!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think 2 places are already sealed. Basel is a team with many big players and they are good at set pieces. This means Pique in the backline and Touré in midfield. Other then that the usual bunch will play.

Valdes - Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal - Touré, Xavi, Hleb - Messi, Eto'o, Iniesta

Anonymous said...

Victor Valdes
Toure,Sergi Busquets,Xavi

Anonymous said...

Valdes; Alves, Puyol, Caceres, Abidal; Touré, Xavi, Iniesta; Messi, Eto'o, Hleb.

Valdes, Puyol, Xavi and Messi will definitely play. Atleast they should if nothing unexpected happens.

Louis said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Starting 11:
Alves - Cáceres - Piqué - Sylvinho
Xavi - Busquets
V. Sánchez - Henry - Bojan

Eto'o -> Henry
Messi -> V. Sánchez
Iniesta -> Bojan
Abidal -> Sylvinho
Puyol - Cáceres/Piqué

My reasoning:
Basicly, this is a game we should win even with our backups. I know, its rather arrogant to say that but still, this is Basel and I belive we have the quality to se this through with some major rotation within the squad.

Considering rotations, this is not the optimal starting 11 in my opinion. But with Guddy, Márquez and Keita gone due to injuries and considering this is a match we should win, I belive we should give some of the talent a go.

Busquets has been perhaps the most positive surprise this autumn; we should play him as much as we can. Let us hope Guardiola does have a talk with in about bookings thou, since it seems he lacks when it comes to the "cool". The tendancy to draw bookings is quite alarming.

Cáceres and Piqué: Well, the former has a lot to prove. He is still young and I belive playing him whenever possible (against weaker opponents) is a must. The more he plays the better he will adapt.
Considering Piqué, atleast for me he has been a nice addition. First and foremost his positioning game has been quite good (not as good as Puyols but hey, we cant expect that). During the last game he was allright. A few passes wasnt as good as you would like (he's no Marquez) but over all he preformed well.
Giving these two players time is essential considering the longterm goals of the club.

Sylvinho... Yes, well Abidal needs a rest. Enough said.

In the midfield I would like to se Touré in the defensive position. We cant neglect such a player, even thou I belive Busquets has done a superb job playing in that position.
Given Yaya plays defensive, I belive we should use Busquets a few steps up the pitch. His major advantage over Touré is his passing game. Allways quick (althou not allways perfect). He needs time on the field... Our future star in my eyes.

On the offensive, I belive Xavi is must. This guy is perhaps the most important player in the whole team. We all saw how the last game turned out without him. Xavi is the key to victory and according to me more important than Messi or Eto'o.
Why do we need to play him against Basel? Well... Quite simple actuly, we need someone to dictate tempo, play the ball and anchor the offense. Against Athletic, this became quite clear. During the first half when Iniesta did not participate in ball distribution this became quite clear. The second half was a lot better. With Iniesta involved in the buildup, we managed to create so much more.
But Iniesta needs a rest. Thats why Xavi is a must!

Up front, Id say we should take a chance. Play V. Sánchez again, even thou his last preformance was rather dull. The lad needs experience and we should give him the benefit of doubt. Pair him with Bojan, the next Messi (yea I know its rather cheesy ^^), and se what they can accomplish.
The edge should be given to Henry. Centre-forward is is natural position, so let him play whenever we can spare Eto'o.

Rather risky you say?

Yes, it is!
But if things does not turn out like we want... Say we are down 1 or its a 0-0 at midtime, we do have Messi, Eto'o and Iniesta on the bench.
If we do have the lead, which I think we will have, we could allways bring Abidal or Puyol in if the back-4 looks insecure.

Thats my 5 cents...

Anonymous said...

Alves - Puyol - Marquez - Abidal

Xavi - Toure - Iniesta

Messi - Eto ´o - Hleb

Anonymous said...

Sorry i forgot valdes...

Àlex said...


Unknown said...

........... V.V .............

Unknown said...

Alves - Puyol - Piqué - Cáceres
----------Xavi - Helb
------Messi - Bojan - Henry

buki said...


Alves Puyol Pique Sylvinho


V.Sanchez Busquets

Krkic Pedro


Anonymous said...

--------------V. Valdes------------

D. Alves--Pique-Puyol--Abidal



Anonymous said...



etoo henry

Anonymous said...

...valdes-pique,puyol,alves,abidal-busquets,iniesta,xavi-messi,eto'o,hleb...let's see...but this would be my favourite...it could also be that he use bench-players against,with respect,not-so-high-classified basel...ONE LOVE...BARCA FOREVER,hombres!!!!!

temeldinho said...


Anonymous said...


pep said...


Anonymous said...

HAhahaha Everyone got it wrong, Sylvinho is going to start the match. And Caceres is not

pep said...

Nobody even came close... Again.

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