The Catalans will host Elche at Camp Nou!
FC Barcelona will host Elche at the Camp Nou on Saturday for their La Liga match in order to get back to winning ways amidst a series of disappointments lately. Xavi’s side is currently eighth in Spain’s top flight, having picked up just 24 points from their opening 16 games of the season, while Elche sits 16th with only 15 points from their first 17 matches.
The Catalans have only two wins in La Liga so far, one against Espanyol and the other against Villareal. They lost to Betis at the Camp Nou in their previous game and drew 2-2 away against Osasuna. But the Barcelona faithful trust Xavi to turn things around, as the club is dealing with major injury concerns to some key players.
Pedri is one of the major candidates missing from the team, alongside Ansu Fati. The duo is not expected to return until 2022. Other injured players include Ousmane Dembele, who yet again has picked up a knock in the game against Osasuna, and Alba who was forced off in that game. The Catalans sit five points off fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and 18 behind leaders Real Madrid. It is obvious that they have a lot of catching up to do, and must return to winning ways.
Elche, meanwhile, has won three, drawn six, and lost eight of their 17 league games this season to collect 15 points, which has left them in 16th position in the table. Los Franjiverdes finished 17th last season on their return to the Spanish top flight. They; ’ve won three of their last four matches in all competitions since their new coach Francisco.
Sergino Dest, Memphis Depay, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Pedri, Ansu Fati, and Martin Braithwaite are out injured.
Gerard Pique is suspended due to the accumulation of yellow cards.
Ousmane Dembele is also allegedly a doubt with the issue that he picked up against Osasuna.
Gavi, Nico, Frenkie, and Busquets will start in the middle of the park.
Ferran Jutlgà might also get some minutes as he played the last five minutes of the Osasuna game, and scored against Boca.
Alejandro Balde might get some minutes off the bench on the back of his display against Boca Juniors in midweek.
Pedro Bigas remains on the sidelines with a groin issue, but otherwise, the visitors are in good shape.
Lucas Boye and Lucas Perez were the two players up front at the weekend and will start at the Camp Nou.
Tete Morente and Fidel will be operating in the wide areas.
Omar Mascarell, Diego Gonzalez, and Edgar Badia will be returning to the team as well.
Ter Stegen; Araujo, Lenglet, Garcia, Mingueza; Nico, Busquets, F de Jong; Gavi, L de Jong, Ezzalzouli
Badia; Palacios, Roco, Gonzalez, Barragan; Morente, Marcone, Mascarell, Fidel; Perez, Boye