alt six scoreless innings aga
MADRID -- With the clasico against Real Madrid coming up, there couldnt be a better time for Lionel Messi to end his scoring drought.Barcelona has been struggling and desperately needs a victory to stay in the Spanish league title race, and Messi could help turn things around on Saturday if he can find the net after five scoreless games against Madrid.Barcelona enters the game at Camp Nou six points behind Madrid, and another setback could leave the Catalan club in a difficult position to fight for a third straight league title.Messi hasnt played badly in recent matches against Madrid, but his last goal against his biggest rival came almost three years ago when he had a hat trick in a 4-3 win at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.The Argentina playmaker hasnt scored in the five games since, not even in the stunning 4-0 win at the Bernabeu last season, when he came off the bench in the second half after a long injury layoff. Barcelona has won two of the last five games against Madrid, but its been 400 minutes since Messi last scored.We all know what kind of player Messi is. He is one of the best in the world, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday. We will have to keep an eye on him, but not only on him, because all of their players are very good.Since Messis hat trick in March 2014, Cristiano Ronaldo has attracted most of the headlines in the clasico, scoring three times, including the late winner at Camp Nou last season that ended Barcelonas record 39-game unbeaten streak.Theyre two exceptional players, Zidane said. Cristiano is doing exceptional, incredible things. I hope he carries on like this.Messi remains the all-time leading scorer in the clasico with 21 goals in 32 matches, but at Camp Nou its been Ronaldo who has thrived the most.The Portugal forward has 10 goals in 12 games in Barcelona, including five in the last five matches and eight in the last nine. He failed to find the net only in four of those 12 games. Messi netted only five times in those same encounters.Ronaldo has scored in each of the last two league games at the Camp Nou. He has 16 goals in 25 matches between the rivals, behind only Messi (21) and Alfredo Di Stefano (18).Messi has 15 goals in the 25 matches in which he and Ronaldo faced each other, one less than Ronaldo.Barcelona is coming off three consecutive draws, two in the league and one in the Copa del Rey, while Madrid has won six in a row.We are playing at home, against our rival, it doesnt matter if we are one point or 100 points behind in the standings, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. Its always a special game.Barcelona will be boosted by the likely return of Andres Iniesta, who has recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him in late October.Its great news for us, Luis Enrique said. He is a reference of Barcelonas style of play.Madrid will be without Gareth Bale because of an ankle injury. Zidanes immediate reserve in the attack, Alvaro Morata, is also out because of a hamstring ailment, so Lucas Vazquez is expected to play up front along with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.Madrid is riding a 32-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, but Zidane said his squad will not be playing safe in Barcelona.Its not only Barcelona that needs to win this game. We also need these points, Zidane said. We are ahead but it doesnt mean anything. We dont think about drawing, winning or losing, we think about giving our best and the result is a consequence.---Tales Azzoni on Twitter: Shawn Matthias Jets Jersey. -- The Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 tie Saturday night that left the top of the Western Conference standings unchanged. Patrik Laine Jets Jersey.35 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Plouffe batted .254 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs in 477 at-bats last season, his second as a regular in the lineup. billion agreement with Rogers Communications for the leagues broadcast and multimedia rights. Laurie Boschman Jets Jersey. Fred Couples, captain of the U.S. side, put it all into perspective. "We know whos in charge," he said. Winnipeg Jets T-shirts. McPhee said that Ovechkins father Mikhail is in stable condition after having the surgery this week and is no longer in intensive care. "Weve told him to stay as long as necessary with your dad," he said. Ovechkin and his Russian national team were eliminated from the mens hockey tournament in Sochi on Wednesday with a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Finland. PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies are showing a glimpse of the future during the seasons last few weeks.With all the September call-ups now in Philadelphia, the team trotted out a young lineup Wednesday night with the oldest player on the lineup card all of 27 years old in catcher Cameron Rupp. It looks like the Phillies will continue to let some new players get comfortable in the big leagues, including when they close out a series with Pittsburgh at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night.One of the most recent additions for the Phillies has been center fielder Roman Quinn, who has six hits through his first four major league games. After going hitless in his debut Sunday, the 23-year-old has had three consecutive two-hit games, including a 2-for-5 showing Wednesday with a double.He also threw out a runner at home plate in the ninth inning of the Phillies 6-2 victory on Wednesday night.Hes an aggressive hitter, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Quinn. He can run. He can throw. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield and its a good first impression in the big leagues.The Phillies offense is also getting production from 26-year-old Freddy Galvis, who has found his power stroke recently. Galvis hit his 19th homer of the season Wednesday night, his eighth in 24 games.Philadelphia is looking for a win in the four-game series, while Pittsburgh is trying to avoid sinking further into a tailspin that has dropped the team six games out of a National League Wild Card spot. The Pirates have lost 13 of 16 and sit four games below .500 at 70-74.In those 16 games, the Pirates have been helld to two runs or less six times, including Wednesday when they grounded into a trio of inning-ending double plays.ddddddddddddWe hit into three double plays on the night, and unfortunately thats been a common theme, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. If you dont meet the demands of the game, you put yourself in positions to lose. We had opportunities to meet those demands but we didnt do it.The Phillies are sending one of their most-seasoned starters to the mound in the series finale. Jerad Eickhoff will face the Pirates for the first time in his career.Eickhoff, 26, is in his second major league season and will be making his 30th start of the season for the Phillies. He has a 3.73 ERA on the season and has been consistent in his last five starts -- all of which have lasted exactly six innings. Eickhoff dealt six scoreless innings against the Nationals in his last start, but left with a no decision.He will be opposed by one of the potential Pirates arms of the future in Chad Kuhl. A 24-year-old rookie, Kuhl enters his 11th major league start with a 4.09 ERA.Kuhl had a rough start his last time out, surrendering three runs on four hits and three walks in just two innings against the Cardinals on Sept. 5. The Pirates skipped his turn in the rotation after the start.Kuhl will be pitching near where he grew up. The right-hander is from Bear, Del. and played high school baseball in Middletown, Del., a town just about 60 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Wholesale Jerseys  Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '


Add comment



Your rate: 0
Total: 0 (0 votes)


No Tags