Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of Leganés vs Barcelona. The International Break is over, and footballing action has returned to La Liga. Our first game in La Liga after the International Break is against Leganés away from home.
Yes, this is a difficult fixture, and we have to take this encounter very seriously. We are in a really vulnerable position in La Liga. Even a single mistake is enough for us to drop points and lose our spot on the top of the table. Therefore, we must act serious if we want to win the league title. Barcelona is currently at the top of the La Liga table with 25 points. Our rivals, Real Madrid also have 25 points with second place in the League Table. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are at 3rd and 4th respectively with 24 points each. So, without any delay, let’s start our detailed Match Preview of Leganés vs Barcelona.
Leganés vs Barcelona Match Preview:
If we talk about Leganés, they are at the bottom of the League Table ( at 20th position ) with only 6 points. Therefore, this match looks really easy on paper. However, tactically this game is not going to be as simple as it seems. Barcelona is a much better side if compare both teams head to head. Barcelona played Leganés 6 times since 2011 and has won 5 times. Now, let’s take a look at the kick off timings as well as the squad traveling for this game.
Kick Off Time:
Leganés vs Barcelona will kick off at 01:00 PM as per local time. Yes, it’s an early kick off and it can certainly impact our performance especially after the international break. You can check the kick off timings for your respecting country/region in the following image:
Squad For Leganés vs Barcelona:
Before talking about the squad, we have to know that Barcelona has been in serious injury crises. We are missing several key players due to injuries and suspension, especially in the defensive area. So, Valverde has called some Barca B players to travel with the squad. I highly doubt that any one of these players will get a chance to play some minutes. However, we will have to wait to find out what’s going to happen. The club named a squad of 20 players traveling for the fixture against Leganés. These players are:
- Goalkeepers: Ter Stegen and Neto.
- Defenders: Piqué, Todibo, M. Wague, Umtiti, Junior, R. Araujo, and Morer.
- Midfielders: I. Rakitic, Sergio, Aleñá, F. De Jong, and Vidal.
- Forwards: Suárez, Messi, O. Dembélé, Griezmann, C. Pérez, and Ansu Fati.
Arthur has been left out of the squad due to tactical reasons. Jordi Alba is also out of the squad due to calf injury. Clement Lenglet is out of the squad because of an injury he picked up during with France. Sergio Roberto is suspended. Ivan Rakitic is back in the squad and I hope he can get some playing time in this game. If he does get a chance against Leganés, he will have to use this time really well and throw a performance that will compel Valverde to use him more often. With that in mind, let’s take a look at our expected starting lineup.
Ter Stegen is the obvious choice to start in goal. MATS has been in great form. He played 1 game out of the 2 International Matchs for Germany. Ter Stegen conceded 1 goal. Therefore, he had a great International Break. We have discussed the International break for our players in detail over here. You can go and check it out if you want to.
With all of our first choice Fullbacks out of the squad, it’s time for our Youth to get some minutes and impress the manager. Jordi Alba has not fully recovered from his calf injury. So, Firpo is going to start at the Left Back position. On one hand, I am really concerned about Jordi Alba. On the other hand, I am really happy for Firpo to get some well-deserved minutes on the pitch. We all know the Firpo is a really talented player and has the potential to replace Alba in a couple of years. However, he hasn’t played much since he joined Barcelona. So, we have to be patient with him and give him some to gain confidence.
As far as Right back is concerned, Semedo is surely going to miss the match due to his injury. Sergio Roberto is also unavailable due to a suspension. Therefore, Wague is the likely starter in this position. This is going to be a good experience for him, and he’s going to get his chance to prove himself. To be honest, we cannot expect a brilliant performance from Wague simply because he hasn’t even played a simple minute since the start of the season. We should not put pressure on his shoulders all of a sudden and demand great football. Anyways, deep in my heart, I know he is going to deliver a brilliant performance.
Pique and Umtiti are the most probably going to start the game in the heart of the defense. Both of them need to develop good chemistry and play more actively in their positions. Personally, I think that the duo of Pique and Lenglet is really sluggish and need to up their game. There is usually a huge space between Lenglet and Pique and our opponents have been exploiting if for a long time. I expect a lot from Umtiti, and I think that he can add a lot of strength to Barca defense. He just needs time to adapt to the conditions again, and good defending days can return back to the Camp Nou.
We have a lot of options in the midfield. One important thing to note is that our midfield shined during the international break and this is really positive for us. The depth we have in our midfield is really positive for us, and it can benefit us in the long term especially during the end of the season when there are continuous matches and there is high fatigue for players.
As far as this game is concerned, I expect Busquets to start in the holding midfield position with his usual role to drop in between the Center Backs. I expect Rakitic and Frenkie De Jong to start in the Central Midfield slots. If this Midfield is chosen to start the game and it gets going well, we can expect extreme dominance and authority in the game. All of these players are known for maintaining position and troubling the opposition with small passes and high press. Rakitic can get his chance to prove his worth to Ernesto Valverde. I really want to see him in action and I really want that he delivers a World Class performance.
Starting with the wingers, Dembele and Lionel Messi are expected to start on the left and right wing respectively. Messi is in great form. He delivered great performances during the international break. Dembele also needs to return to his 100% confidence and prove that he is a World Class player and a big threat to the opposition.
My first choice striker is Antoine Griezmann. However, we do know that Valverde is going to favor Luis Suárez. Suarez has been in good form recently. However, he is not the crash in the box we used to know. Yes, Suarez has been good this season but it’s not like he dominates the game. He is usually out of the game for most of the time. It is still obvious that he is going to get extra favor from the manager and his chances of starting ahead of Griezmann are higher.
If Suarez Starts the game, he is likely to get more attention from Lionel Messi and therefore, there are chances that he can end up with his name on the scoresheet. I would still say that Griezmann is the better option, however, with Valverde around, being disappointed has become casual.
To be honest, we don’t have a strong bench for this game. Our utility player Sergio Roberto is not available. Jordi Alba and Semedo are also out injured. Therefore there are very few options to go with on the bench. We do have the likes of Arturo Vidal who is well known for his physical abilities and how well he can change the pace of the game. Griezmann and Ansu Fati will also be on the bench to add options in our attack. Todibo and Morer will also be there to provide defensive cover if necessary. Lastly, Alena and Neto will also be available on the bench.
This is a really crucial fixture for us. However, I think that Barcelona can overcome this easily and end this game with a big lead. I do expect goals from Messi and even Suarez. Somebody I really want to score is Antoine Griezmann. Our Wingers, Ousmane Dembélé and Ansu Fati can also contribute in increasing our lead.
I am being optimistic here going for a lot of goals. I expect Barcelona to win this game by four or more goals. As far as conceding a goal is concerned, I think Ter Stegen is going to be able to keep a clean sheet in this fixture. However, considering the kind of unstable and uncertain defense we have, I think Leganés might be able to score a goal. We just have to wait and see.
As mentioned above, I think Barcelona can pull off a win in this encounter. As far as the gameplay is concerned, I do expect Barcelona to dominate the opposition. The reason is that the opposition is already very vulnerable. They are at the bottom of the points table and are competing against the team on the top. This is mentally pressurizing as well. Furthermore, they are used to being dominated by Barcelona when you consider their previous encounters. Therefore, I think we are winning this convincingly.
Anyway guys, this is it from the Match Preview of Leganés vs Barcelona. Do you think Barcelona can easily dominate the game? What are your score predictions for Leganés vs Barcelona? Do you think we can win the La Liga this year? What about the Champions League? We really respect your feedback and always want to hear from you. So, share your thoughts on our Match Preview in the comments section below. Until the next time, Visca El Barca.