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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 22, 2007

Barca fans on hunt for black sheep against Recre

MADRID, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Nou Camp faithful will be out to expose any slackers when Barcelona play Recreativo Huelva in the Primera Liga on Saturday.

Frank Rijkaard's side went down meekly 2-0 at Getafe last time out in another below-par performance on their travels and are under pressure to buck up their ideas.

They have a 100 percent record at home but all is not well in the Barca dressing room, and the cause of their inconsistency is the subject of much debate.

Brazilian midfielder/defender Edmilson is the latest player to come out and publicly criticise some team mates for their lack of commitment to the cause.

'In our group of 23-25 players and coaches we are like a family and on many occasions the family has a black sheep....,' he told the TV3 television channel.

'The world in which footballers live is different because money, success, fame, women and getting things easily means they lose the true values in life.

'Sometimes our job takes a second place and players say 'I've got a meeting or an advertising commitment so I'm going to train quickly.'

Edmilson's observations will have struck a chord with fans and management concerned that Barcelona's league campaign is under threat. They lie third in the standings four points behind leaders and arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Recre are 18th and their 1-0 victory over Osasuna two weeks ago saw them score their first goal in seven outings to ease the pressure on coach Victor Munoz.

The top two, Real and Villarreal, have fixtures against struggling promoted clubs this weekend.

Bernd Schuster's side have lost two of their last three away games in the league but on Saturday will expect to see off Real Murcia, who have scored just once in their last six matches.

In-form Villarreal, who are a point behind Real Madrid in second place, host Almeria who have not scored in four games.

Ronald Koeman can build on his winning start in the league as the new coach of Valencia when they travel north to face Racing Santander on Sunday.

The league's fourth-placed club hammered Murcia 3-0 two weeks ago at the Mestalla but face a stern test in Santander against a side only four points behind them in seventh. Marcelino's Racing are unbeaten in seven matches.

Under-fire Real Betis coach Hector Cuper takes his 19th-placed team to the league's basement club Levante on Sunday in search of their first away win.