Prematch Report: Barça vs Elche

Barça’s next game in La Liga comes at home against Elche. It’s a game we simply have to win,  especially when you consider how far we are falling in the league. Not only is this a vital game for  us, but it’s also the last time we’ll be playing at the Camp Nou in 2021. It’s been a difficult year for Barça fans, so finishing off on a high at home is so important going into the new year. Elche is a team we can beat, but Barça can’t take the game lightly. Too many times this year, we’ve dropped  points against lower ranked teams when we really shouldn’t have. Were guilty of that this season  and especially last.  

We haven’t won a game in the league since our victory away at Villarreal, and haven’t been on the  winning side at home since our derby win against Espanyol. Since that time it’s been a very dreary  few weeks. Not specifically in terms of performances, but just in terms of the results. Week by  week, game by game this team is slowly improving. You can see different things in each game  where we have improved it. And you can clearly find what Xavi is trying to do to this team. It’s just  about bringing it all together. 

Brief look at our opponents  

Coming into the game, Elche find themselves in 16th place. 2 points above the relegation zone  and 9 points behind Barça. So far this season, they have played 17 games and lost 8 of them,  scoring 16 goals in the process. Throughout this period, they have conceded a total of 24 goals,  which gives them an average of 1.4 goals conceded per game. When you look at those stats, you  could say that they’re not a team that scores freely, and also concede a reasonable chunk of  goals too. And you’d be right at assuming that. But when you compare these numbers with the  ones of Barça, things start to look a lot more similar. So far this season, We have conceded a total  of 19 goals and only scored 9 more goals than Elche. We have created a lot of chances this  season, it has to be said, but we’ve been really struggling for the finishing touch. The same can be 

said for Elche by the looks of things. When you consider all of that, the game probably isn’t  expected to be a goal fest. No matter who the opponent is right now, we can’t seem to score  against any of them! But hopefully, that will change soon. 

Like we always seem to say, our next game is going to be tricky. But that just sums up where we  are right now. We’re at the beginning of a long term project, with a team plagued with injury  problems. So every game is as unpredictable as the next. As long as we continue to see gradual  improvements in performance, aswell as results too, then we’ll all be much happier.  

Possible lineup

We’re still without a large majority of the squad, unfortunately. Pedri and Ansu seem to be more  likely to return in the new year. Memphis too, so we’re still very much down to the bare bones.  Pique is also suspended for tomorrow’s game after an accumulation of yellow cards. In terms of  the formation, it will be nice to us go back to the 433 and just go for it. The 3 at the back isn’t  great for us when you consider the quality of players we have in defence. Araujo is the only leader  we have back there. The only defender that you can really rely on. So going back to a 433 would  be the most ideal choice for the game against Elche. After suffering injury scares in our last game  against Osasuna, Xavi confirmed in today’s press conference that we’ll be able to rely on Alba and  Dembele. That in itself is a huge boost. Out of everything though, the player I’m most excited to  see again tomorrow is Abde. This guy is a fantastic talent and just gives us something new.  Something that we haven’t really had at Barça for a number of years.  

Let us know what your thoughts are about what the lineup should be in the comments!

My prediction:

Ter stegen 

Dest- Araujo- Garcia- Alba 

Gavi- Busquets- Frenkie 

Abde- Jutgla- Dembele 

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