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Real Betis v Barcelona

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Vilanova: Better than Pep?

Vilanova: Better than Pep?

Barcelona look set to take on Real Betis without the services of Lionel Messi as they aim to extend their record-breaking start to the season.

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The Catalan club, who lead La Liga by six points ahead of Atletico Madrid, have made their best ever start to a campaign.

Tito Vilanova's side have amassed 40 points from a possible 42, although they play a Betis team that sits just three places behind them, although significantly with only 25 points.

They have claimed the scalp of Real Madrid at the Estadio Benito Villamarin though and will look to maintain their impressive form by seeing off the challenge of a Messi-less Barcelona.

They will have to achieve that feat without Juan Carlos, Ale Martinez, Mario, Paulao and Damien Perquis though with all five players out injured.

Dani Alves and Alexis Sanchez are missing for Barca and if somehow, Messi does start, he will be hoping to break Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, something he can achieve by scoring a brace.

The last time these two sides faced each other at Betis, the spoils were shared following a 2-2 draw.

Posted: 08/12/12 12:26

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