Our penultimate game before the World Cup sees us come up against Almeria live from the camp nou. Although it is yet another important game in the title race, there’s a whole different significance to the game.
After 25 years representing Barça, today is Piqué’s final game at the Camp Nou. It really is the end of an era, for a player that represents Catalonia better than anyone else. When you think if Barcelona, you always think if Gerard Pique. The last few years have been tough. His performances have been slowly declining. Different injuries have played a part in that, but he has always given his best. No matter what.
He frequently played through pain just to help the team out. And last year was one of his best seasons. However, the time has come now to call it a day. And for me, although it is a very sad day. Whenever a legend leaves, it is always going to be sad. I mean, I’ve basically grown up with Pique.
But, I am relieved that he has made this decision. He doesn’t deserve to be hated on or slandered. And the longer he stays, the more he’s reputation could be damaged. He’s ultimately put the club first, like he always has done. And that’s all we ever want to see. He is the definition of a club legend. And now he can retire as one! Thank you for everything, Gerard.
A quick look at our opponents:
In terms of our opponent for tonight’s game, Almeria is no pushover. The newly promoted side currently finds themselves in 14th place. They’re in good form too, winning 3 out of their last 5 games. With their most recent result coming as a 3-1 win at home to Celta Vigo. So far this season. They have managed to score 15 goals. And have conceded 20 in the process. That’s 16 more goals conceded than us. These are the sort of games that always gives us problems. We have to turn up for the game and ensure we score early and take control of the game from the first minute. It’s yet another important game in the title race.
For how we’ll setup for the game, that’s all down to Xavi. After our midweek game against Plzen, we were able to rest many key players including Pedri, Ter Stegen, Balde. Lewandowski and Dembele. We were able to give many players a full weeks rest. Which was well needed, especially for someone like Pedri who was in desperate need of a rest. Ferran Torres, Raphinha, Gavi, Ansu and Balde were the best players on the pitch. Alba also put in a good performance too. So there are many options to choose from for Xavi.
A huge boost has come in the shape of Eric Garcia and Christensen. With both of them being given the medical green light. And after Piqué’s retirement and the poor performances of Alonso, we are in desperate need of centre backs. Ter Stegen will come back in for iñaki Peña, who had a very good performance in midweek. He deserved a clean sheet, but unfortunately had a very weak defence in front of him.
Bellerin had a very bad game the other day, and it doesn’t seem like Xavi trusts in him too much . So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Balde at right back with Jordan Alba at left back. Balde is by far our best left back and our best right back too. In midfield I would like to see the trio of Gavi, Frankie and Pedri. We don’t need Busi in the starting lineup for this gam. And that trio is by far our best.
In the attack, Lewandowski will come back into the team, after resting in midweek. Ferran and Raphinha both deserve to start after impressive individual displays the other day. But of course, we could change it around completely. I think ideally, Xavi would want to pick a more consistent lineup. But when there are games every 3 days, its almost impossible to do that.
Balde- Pique- Christensen- Alba
Gavi- Frenkie- Pedri
Raphinha- Lewandowski- Ferran
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