Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club. The clubs meet again in La Liga. The clubs faced each other in the final of the Super Cup and that was certainly not a good outing for the Blaugranas.
Both clubs are ready to face off again tonight and Ronald Koemann must look forward to taking revenge from the visiting side. Can FC Barcelona beat Athletic Club at home?
FC BARCELONA VS ATHLETIC CLUB MATCH PREVIEW
Both clubs faced each other previously in the Super Cup. Athletic Club was able to score a leading goal in the final minutes of the extra time which made them the Super Cup champions. It was a pretty disappointing game for the Barca boys as they were very hopeful of early silverware in the season. However, that is an old story by now and the players must focus on what is ahead of them.
FC Barcelona was obviously better with the ball, but Athletic Club frustrated them with their physical dominance as well as nasty time-wasting tactics. It is a similar game in which Lionel Messi picked up the first red card of his career and ultimately, served a two game suspension.
Therefore, we are very clear about the mentality of the visiting side as well as the areas we need to stay alert about. Athletic Club exposed FC Barcelona’s defensive weaknesses and was able to score the equalizer as well as the leading goal. FC Barcelona currently sits at 4th in the points table with 37 points. Real Madrid lost to Levante yesterday and this means that a victory in this fixture is going to take the Blaugranas to second place on the points table just behind Atletico Madrid.
Therefore, the title race is definitely on and this means that this encounter is a must-win for the home side.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FC BARCELONA?
There are a lot of positive aspects to expect from Ronald Koemann’s men. The biggest reason is that the team has not played on its home surface for more than a month. Not only this, but the Blaugranas have also managed to perform brilliantly in away encounters. Furthermore, FC Barcelona is also the leading goal scoring side in La Liga despite their weaknesses in the final third.
Ronald Koemann has definitely lifted the team’s morale as well as the playing standards. The team is finding a proper rhythm and proper sync is visible between the players. The defenders are doing an amazing job especially Ronald Araujo who is on a streak of not being dribbled past since many games. Furthermore, the midfield area is perhaps the strongest in this FC Barcelona unit.
Lionel Messi is leading the attack as always and he often finds chances to produce his magic. Antoine Griezmann is on a roll as he is supporting the team with his goal scoring as well as a goal creating abilities.
With that all being said, Clement Lenglet and Araujo are likely to start as the Center Backs. Oscar Mingueza is going to serve as Sergino Dest’s replacement in the Right Back position. Jordi Alba is obviously going to be there as the Left Back. The midfield is most likely to comprise of Pedri, Busqi, and De Jong. Messi, Griezmann, and Dembele are going to lead the attack.
De Jong also said in his previous post-match interview that he is eager to score more and more goals as this is going to help him grow as a player and also help his team. This means that the Dutch midfielder is most serious about his game than ever. This is ultimate, an amazing sign for the team.
FC Barcelona is the favorite team heading into this encounter. However, we all know by now that playing against Athletic Club is not as easy as said. Therefore, the Blaugranas must come into this game with proper rest, work, and tactical planning.
Early goals from the home side can seal the game way sooner than the full-time whistle. However, the home players must focus on keeping a tight defensive line as well as work to create a lot of chances upfront.