After a lower than convincing win in opposition to UE Cornella within the Copa del Rey, Barcelona will journey to the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero to play Elche CF in La Liga. Be part of us as Barça Common provides you a rundown of tomorrow’s fixture.
Date and Kickoff Time: Sunday, January twenty fourth, 2021, 4:15 PM CET
Stadium: Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero
Competitors: La Liga, Matchday 20
Referee: Valentin Pizzaro Gomez
For soccer groups, January represents one of many hardest elements of a season. Along with the “vacation hangover” and chilly climate, that is when home cup competitions are launched to the schedule, making for a very congested month–to not point out exacerbating an already tight fixture-list owing to the pandemic. From a motivation standpoint, the highs and pleasure of a brand new marketing campaign have dissipated and the end line continues to be months away. Barcelona have performed six matches in 23 days and have two extra to shut out the month. They will’t afford to let up now.
The Catalans are at the moment sitting third within the league desk, ten factors behind leaders Atlético Madrid. They’ve recovered after a gradual begin to the season and have received six of their final eight league matches. In truth, Barça haven’t misplaced within the league since December 6 in opposition to Cádiz. Nonetheless, performances within the Spanish Tremendous Cup and Copa del Rey have been lower than convincing.
Elche are halfway by means of their first season again in Spain’s high division after 5 seasons within the second and third. Their spotlight of the season got here on December thirty first once they drew 1-1 with Actual Madrid at residence, and so they’ll be hoping to pry factors away from one other Spanish large. In addition to that top level, it’s been a comparatively uneventful marketing campaign as they have been eradicated within the Copa del Rey by Rayo Vallecano final week (Barça’s subsequent opponent within the cup) and sit 18th within the desk. Though, they’ve three video games in-hand and might rise within the desk with a very good efficiency tomorrow.
Apart from their assembly within the Joan Gamper Cup in September the place Barça received 1-0, the 2 sides haven’t met since 2015. The Blaugrana haven’t misplaced to Elche of their final 15 La Liga video games, courting again to December 1974, and so they have saved a clear sheet of their final eight league video games in opposition to them. Nonetheless, Barcelona should not enable complacent to creep in as this season is proving that something can occur…
What to anticipate from Barcelona?
Barça are coming off three straight video games that went into further time (over 360 minutes of motion), and due to the congested schedule, Ronald Koeman will proceed to rotate his squad. Lionel Messi will miss out on the match due to the crimson card and consequential two-match ban he obtained in opposition to Athletic Bilbao final week, so Antoine Griezmann should try to carry the workforce on his shoulders.
Substitute goalkeeper Neto performed the total match in opposition to Cornella mid-week, so the ever-reliable Marc-André Ter Stegen seems set to return to the beginning lineup.
Sergiño Dest continues to be recovering from a thigh damage however he was added to the squad record and travelled with the workforce. Nonetheless, Oscar Mingueza will most probably play at right-back, as he did in opposition to Cornella and many of the match in opposition to Bilbao. Ronald Araújo might be there to hold the Barcelona defence alongside Clement Lenglet within the coronary heart of the defence, however an look from injury-riddled Samuel Umtiti will not be out of the query. Jordi Alba is predicted to return at left-back.
Koeman doesn’t have a steady lineup but, however has carried out a 4-3-3 formation for the previous few matches and appears eager on retaining it for the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, there are some questions on who will fill within the three center-midfield positions.
Starlet Illaix Moriba made his long-awaited debut this previous week, however he’s in all probability nonetheless too low within the pecking order to make the beginning lineup this week. Koeman’s most well-liked midfield trio has been Sergio Busquets, Frenkie De Jong, and Pedri, however the latter has performed the fifth most minutes for Barcelona this season and continues to be solely 18-years outdated. He’s undoubtedly a match-winner and sport changer–as evidenced by his two assists to hold Barça previous Cornella– however his health ought to be monitored as nicely.
Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele have rather a lot to hold as they spearhead Barça’s assault with out Lionel Messi, though they need to have the ability to suffice. The query stays about who would be the third within the attacking trio, however Martin Braithwraite is most probably to fill in.
Though Elche usually are not an especially powerful opponent, Koeman ought to nonetheless rotate his squad, which has admittedly been a robust go well with of his.
What to anticipate from Elche?
Though Elche are sitting 18th within the desk, they’ve solely misplaced six of their 17 league performed and might simply transfer increased up within the desk with some good performances. Supervisor Jorge Almiron might be hoping his workforce can ship a robust defensive effort, letting Barcelona patiently build-up and retain possession, however making certain they’re unthreatening with it on the identical time.
The Valencia-based aspect should play extraordinarily cohesively to return away with factors in opposition to Barça, and though their previous report in opposition to the Catalans is abysmal, they may play with grit and dedication. Their assault has been nothing to write down residence about this season, averaging lower than one aim per sport within the league, thus a defensive method makes much more sense.
Elche are lacking some gamers because of damage, together with key member Fidel, who has 4 objectives and two assists this marketing campaign. The Spanish-midfielder can also be averaging a team-leading 2.31 shot-creating actions per sport, so Elche might be taking a look at gamers like striker Lucas Boyé and midfielder Josán Fernández to deliver a inventive spark.
Elche will possible play their typical beginning eleven with none main modifications, barring these from damage. They’ve performed with a five-man again line very often this season and whereas they could not have any particular person standouts, it’s going to nonetheless be significantly tough for Barça to play in opposition to yet one more low block.
Anticipate Édgar Badéa to start out in aim; Gonzalo Verdu, Josema, Antonio Barragan, Johan Mojica, Diego Gonzalez in protection; Iván Marcone, Raúl Guti in midfield; and Lucas Boyé, Josán Fernández, and Emiliano Rigoni spearheading the assault.
Participant to Watch
Central-midfielder Fidel has arguably been Elche’s most consequential and determinant participant this season, however as a result of he’s lacking out on this sport because of damage, Josán Fernandez is the opposition participant to observe.
Josán is in red-hot kind, coming off a first-half brace in opposition to Actual Valladolid midweek. He’s usually located out vast on the correct wing or as a wing-back, and is a menace together with his crossing, main his workforce with 2.94 per sport this season. He’s additionally a squad chief with crosses into the penalty space (4) in addition to key passes (seven) this season. He has 4 objectives and one help to his identify, and might be seeking to make the most of Jordi Alba’s excessive positioning on the pitch. His squad main 139.8 progressive ball-carrying distance yards per 90 minutes signifies his marauding nature on the ball.
Earlier video games: WLWWW
Cornella 0-2 Barcelona | Copa del Rey
Barcelona 2-3 Athletic Membership | Supercopa de España
Granada 0-4 Barcelona | La Liga
Athletic Membership 2-3 Barcelona | La Liga
Huesca 0-1 Barcelona | La Liga
Place in La Liga
34 factors in 18 video games
10 wins, 4 attracts and 4 losses
37 Targets Scored, 17 Targets Conceded
+20 Purpose Distinction
Earlier video games: DLLWL
Actual Valladolid 2-2 Elche | La Liga
Rayo Vallencano 2-0 Elche | Copa del Rey
Elche 1-3 Getafe | La Liga
La Nucía 0-1 Elche | Copa del Rey
Athletic Membership 1-0 Elche | La Liga
Place in La Liga
17 factors in 17 video games
3 wins, 8 attracts and 6 losses
16 Targets Scored, 23 Targets Conceded
-7 Purpose Distinction
Face to face report
Earlier conferences: N/A
Barcelona 1-0 Elche | Joan Gamper Trophy 2020
Elche 0-6 Barcelona | La Liga 14/15
Elche 0-4 Barcelona | Copa del Rey 14/15
Barcelona 5-0 Elche | Copa del Rey 14/15
Barcelona 3-0 Elche | La Liga 14/15
- – Barcelona haven’t misplaced in opposition to Elche since December 1974 (15 La Liga matches).
- Elche are winless of their final six La Liga residence video games (4 attracts, 2 losses).
- Elche haven’t scored in opposition to Barcelona in any of their final eight La Liga video games.
Injured: Gerard Pique (knee), Ansu Fati (knee), Sergi Roberto (hamstring), Phillipe Coutinho (knee)
Suspended: Lionel Messi
Mingueza · Araújo · Lenglet · Alba
De Jong · Pedri
Dembele · Griezmann · Braithwaite
Injured: Luismi, Dani Calvo, Omenuke Mfulu, Guido Carrillo, Fidel
Barragan · Josema · Verdu · Gonzalez · Mojica
Marcone · Guti
Josán · Boyé · Rigoni
Elche won’t be an easy-out for Barcelona, however the Catalans ought to nonetheless prevail. The Blaugrana’s poor protection will possible see them concede a aim, however their assault ought to nonetheless overpower the home-side.
Barça Common Prediction: 3-1 win for Barcelona.