This is it. This game more than any other has divided the cultfootball brain trust, with one faction supporting the brilliant arrogance of the establishment side and the other hoping the subversives from the north can one-touch their way a million times to victory.
The lead of La Liga is on the line, and with both teams reaching top form this will be a tight and exciting affair.
Mourinho beat Guardiola’s side in Champions League play last year using a tough defending – counterattacking game, flawlessly executed by an Inter side outclassed at every position. This time around Jose has a team whose attack is swift and devastating, supported by one of the most solid defenses in club football.
Pep’s boys play an inspired passing game, are the home side at hostile Camp Nou, and have won the last five meetings between the two teams. They maintain such balanced spacing that their offense and defense are practically seamless, and everyone joins in attack and defense.
As always, the game will come down to service from the midfield, and the battle between Barça’s Xabi/Busquets and Madrid’s Alonso/Kedira. There will be insane quality all over the pitch, but dead center is (unsurprisingly) key.