After what was s simply a fantastic month of football for Barcelona, we now move onto the month of March. And we’re hoping to continue with the good results and the positive feelings, as Barcelona travels away to Elche . In our last 3 games, we’ve scored 12 goals, conceding only 4. What really has been noticeable is not only the amount of goals we’re scoring, and not also how clinical we have been in front of goal. But for me, the most striking difference in this team is out style of play.
Of course, we are still not at our ultimate best, but what Xavi has been able to do in such a short amount of time gives us all so much excitement for what this team can become. The pressing and intensity has been incredible. Our attacking has been direct and clinical and our defence has also improved in recent games too. We’ve seen flashes of tiki taka, which of course is a beautiful thing to see for us Barça fans. And like I said, we are not yet at our best, there’s still many things to improve on. Xavi knows that. But what we’ve seen so far is brilliant and gives us a lot of excitement and optimism for the future.
A quick look at our opponent
As for our opponents, things are a lot more different. They currently find themselves in 14th place, with 2 wins in their last 5 games. Their last result came against Levante, where they lost 3-0 to Levante. They are only just 5 points above the relegation zone and are fighting for survival in La Liga this season.
What is possibly most striking about Elche this season is the fact that in 26 games, they’ve only managed to score 11 goals. That’s only one less than we’ve been able to score in our last 3 games. They’ve conceded a total of 28 goals, which is funnily enough the exact amount of goals we’ve conceded. So defensively you could say that things are quite even, at least statistically.
A few players to keep an eye out for would be Argentinian striker Lucas Boye, a player that we ourselves looked at in the winter market. And their Number 10, Pere Milla. You may also remember from last season, but Elche’s goalkeeper, Edgar Badia was a very difficult person to beat. Again, he’s one of those players who always seems to turn up when their against us, but against other team, they don’t fare too well. We’re going to have to be clinical in our finishing in order to beat this guy.
Keeping up with the good form
As for Barcelona, we are currently going through the best run of form so far this season. We are unbeaten in our last 7 games in all competitions, winning 5 in the process. As well as being on a 10 match unbeaten streak in La Liga. Picking up a total of 13 points out of a possible 15. Xavi is working wonders with this team and we’re hoping to see more of that today. We are looking ahead to the europa league this week, so the possible lineup may see a few rotations so we can keep things fresh for midweek.
In terms of the lineup, I feel as if things will remain similar to how we lined up against Athletic Bilbao last weekend. Ter stegen will remain in goal with pique and Araujo starting in the centre of our defence. Both players have been absolute rocks under Xavi this season and are really starting to build a strong partnership. Alba will return from suspension so he’ll slot back into Left back. The only question really, is who will,be at right back. Dani Alves has been brilliant since signing back for us, but Dest has stepped up his performances immensely. Xavi is slowly but surely getting the best out of him, and that’s what we want to see. This guy is a special talent, he just needs guidance. Considering he’ll be starting in midweek, I think he should start today to get prepared for our europa league game.
In midfield, I think Frenkie de Jong will return to the lineup after being rested last weekend. Busquets may be rested for the game in midweek so a midfield of Gavi, Pedri and Frenkie may be likely. And what a midfield that is!
In attack, after playing consecutively ever since he signed for us, I think this will be the game where Ferran finally gets a rest. He’s desperate to score for us, and the goals will start flowing soon, it’s inevitable. But he deserves a rest today. Dembele came on against Athletic and completely changed the game. He’s a player we have to keep hold of and he’ll definitely start today. Along side the brilliant goal scoring threat of Aubameyang and the wild tenacity of Adama Traore. That front three is electric!
However we lineup, all we want is us to get the job done and come away from the game as positive and as excited as we have been recently.
Dest- Pique- Araujo- Alba
Gavi- Frenkie – Pedri
Adama- Aubameyang- Dembele