Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of Elche CF vs FC Barcelona. Barcelona is back to continue its campaign in the La Liga Santander and Elche CF is their next opponent. Barcelona is fourth in the points table now and cannot afford a slip-up. Can Ronald Koemann and his boys keep their La Liga winning streak alive against Elche?
ELCHE CF VS FC BARCELONA MATCH PREVIEW
Elche is a very easy team to play against on paper. However, we have seen FC Barcelona struggling against such teams too many times in the previous few seasons. Therefore, Barca is definitely in for some competition. This time is the midway point in the season and this is when all the teams are pushing their best to perform at their peak levels.
It is not very common in La Liga that we move on to the very end of the season to see who wins the league (Like the previous season). Therefore, such times are very important for a team competing in the title race.
FC Barcelona is fourth in its table sitting behind Sevilla and 10 points behind the group leaders, Atletico Madrid. A win in this game takes Ronald Koemann’s team to the third spot with 37 points (currently 34 points). Elche is not a very regular La Liga team and their struggle in the season is evident by its 18th position in the group table. However, Elche did draw against Real Madrid earlier this season and this shows that the team has the potential to give a tough time even to the biggest teams in the world.
Furthermore, Barcelona and Elche played against each other previously in the Joan Gamper Trophy which FC Barcelona managed to win by only 1 goal. So it’s pretty evident that playing against Elche is not as easy as expected. Koemann must have solid tactical planning for this. Otherwise, things can go in the wrong direction for the Blaugranas in no time.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FC BARCELONA?
FC Barcelona needs to come up with a different approach in this game than what they normally do. Koemann must use his players wisely because of the exhausted physical condition of the players as well as the injury issues. The players have been playing a lot of football lately and these counts the previous 2-3 consecutive games that went into the extra time. Therefore, legs are definitely going to be sore of the Blaugrana players. Other than that, Ronald Koemann also has to face a huge pile of suspensions and injury issues.
Lionel Messi is going to miss this game because of his suspension. Lionel picked a red card against Athletic Bilbao and is, therefore, serving a 2 game suspension. This means that the team is going to look on to Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele to carry the attack. Furthermore, Sergino Dest is also likely to miss most of the clash as he is still recovering from his thigh injury.
He is still added to the squad list. However, Oscar Mingueza is likely going to play most of the time as the Right Back. Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet are going to serve as the Center Backs. A popular fact breaking the social media for a few days is that Ronald Araujo has not been dribbled past in the previous 10 games. This shows that the young defender is having the time of his career and approaching his peak years in a fantastic way
Frenkie De Jong, Busqi, and Pedri are likely to lead the midfield. The trio is performing brilliantly lately and they have to continue playing at such high standards in order to pick a win against Elche. However, Antoine Griezmann and Dembele carry the biggest burden on their shoulders as they have to carry the team to the win.
FC Barcelona is in for a tough night away at Elche. The team is missing its biggest player as well as dealing with a lot of fatigue. Therefore, playing on away turf is going to be very tough. Still, Barcelona needs to win this game at any cost in order to keep themselves alive in the title race.