This afternoon at 4:15pm Local time, we’ll be playing our final game of La Liga before we have to endure a 2 week international break. After unfortunately being defeated by Bayern in Midweek, we’re now turning our attention to yet another league game. This time, Barça will face Elche.
The question that is always faced after a loss is, can we bounce back. Can we forget the disappointing result and quickly move on to the next game. For me what’s different this time is the nature of the loss. I hope and also don’t think that the players would’ve lost confidence or focus. Mainly due to the fact that we thoroughly deserved to beat Bayern.
It was always a game that was going to be difficult. And we never expected to beat them away from home. But the painful thing is that actually we came a lot closer to beating them than we ever thought. It was a fantastic overall game from us, in a tough stadium. And if we were just a bit more clinical, then we’d be coming into this game with a win against Bayern in the bag. Unfortunately for us, it didn’t happen. But we can’t dwell on it. It’s a performance to learn from. But overall, I think the players need to be proud of that performance. It was a clear indicator that we are well on the right track. Keep working, stay humble, learn from all the little mistakes and bounce back. There’s so much more to come from this team! For morale and confidence, going into the break with a positive result is vital. So here’s hoping Barça can pull one off tonight against Elche.
A quick look at our opponent:
When it comes to our opponent for today, Elche currently find themselves at the bottom of the table. With only 1 point from their first 5 games. Losing 3 in a row after that draw. We have many connections to this team however. As not only is Alex Collado currently on loan there. But Elche was the team that our young star, Gavi, scored his first goal for Barcelona. And of course that’s relevant because he has just recently signed a new 4 year contract with the club. Their last result saw them lose 4-1 at home to Ernesto Valverde’s Atheltic Club. So far this season, they’ve only been able to score twice. And have conceded 13 goals in the process. When you compare that with Barça, we have scored a total of 15 goals. Conceding only once. Which turns out to be the joint best defence in the league. Along with the yellow submarine. So, on paper, it seems pretty straight forward. But like I always say, teams like Elche can’t be underestimated by Barça, ever . They’ve got some quality players and are fighting to survive in La Liga. We’re going to have to be fully focused. And most importantly, clinical!
In terms of the lineup, I think there will be a few rotations made by our coach Xavi. Keeping in mind that the majority of the team will be on international duty. We won’t want to be overworking them and putting them at risk of anything during the break. It was a very intense game in midweek. And even though we weren’t even at our peak. We played an incredible game of football. And it would’ve taken it out of the players. Mentally and physically. From the players who started against Bayern. The main players who I think could be rested will be Busi, Dembele, Alonso and possibly Kounde. It’ll be interesting to see who Xavi chooses to replace them. His man management so far has been brilliant. Making sure to keep every player involved and important. So it’s always fascinating to wonder what lineup he’ll go with. Below is my prediction for what we could possibly see later today.
Bellerin- Araujo- Eric- Balde
Frenkie- Kessie- Pedri
Raphinha- Lewandowski- Ansu