It’s cold out there in Spain, as January chill is with us. But it’s fair to say that it’s colder in Barcelona than in any other place. This is how it works, as losing in ‘El Clasico’ has that effect on Barcelona and its fans. Especially, when it was a final, and we conceded 4 goals. However, it’s time to turn the page, and improve fast to save the season. Tonight, Barcelona with travel to Castile and Leon, to meet with Unionistas de Salamanca. In normal times, Barcelona would look to rotate in a game vs a team from Group 1 of the ‘Primera Federacion’ league. However, it looks like every game is tough for the Blaugranas in the last months.
After losing the Super Copa on Sunday, the Cup becomes more important for Xavi and the team. Furthermore, there are some people that don’t believe that Xavi is the right man to lead the team anymore. But after winning La Liga last season, Xavi still has some credit left.
A look at the opponent
For people that watched football in the 1990’s, the name Salamanca is a familiar one. UD Salamanca was founded in 1923, and spent 12 season in the first division between the 1970’s and 1990’s. in 1998/99 season, Salamanca was relegated to the segunda, and never returned to La Liga. Eventually, after Salamanca became a third division club, and due to enormous unpaid debts, the club seized to exist in 2013, 90 years after its foundation.
In 2013, Unionistas de Salamanca CF was founded as a fan-based club that wanted to preserve the history of UD Salamanca. They started playing in the sixth tier of Spanish football, and slowly made their way back to the top leagues.
Since 2018/19 season, Unionistas became a regular name in Segunda B, and later Primera RFEF league. Last season, Unionistas finished 7th in the league, and were close to secure a place in the Play-offs.
This season, Unionistas are 13th in the league, just 3 points behind Barcelona Atletic. Furthermore, few weeks ago, they manage to beat Rafa Marquez’s team. In that game, they showed that they have a very organized and disciplined team, that can defend well. Our La Masia admin, Arsen, called them “The Atletico Madrid of Primera RFEF”.
Barcelona will get to Salamanca with many people that can’t play. Cancelo, Raphinha, Inigo, Ter Stegen, Gavi and Marcos Alonso are injured. Moreover, Araujo and Lamine Yamal are both suspended.
And with the rule of 7 first team players that have to be on the field, Xavi will not have a lot of options left.
Xavi did call Pau Victor, Pau Cubarsi, Marc Guiu and Hector Fort for this match. Moreover, it would be a good opportunity to let Vitor Roque get some minutes, although a discomfort made him stay on the bench during the Super Copa.
With Pedri and Vitor Roque probably start on the bench, I think the lineup looks pretty much set.
My Starting 11
Balde – Christensen – Kounde – Fort
Fermin – Oriol Romeu – Frenkie/Roberto
Felix – Lewandowski/Guiu – Ferran