Elche vs Barcelona match preview and predictions for Sunday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Catalans aim to extend their run of better results on the road in LaLiga.
- DATE: Sunday 24th January 2021
- KICK-OFF: 16:15 (local time)
- STADIUM: Martinez Valero
- COMPETITION: LaLiga
Elche vs Barcelona Preview
Barcelona travel to the Martinez Valero this weekend having narrowly survived a potential Copa del Rey shocker in midweek. While their league form has certainly picked up of late, Atletico Madrid simply keep winning with Luis Suarez at the heart of things to rub salt into Barca’s wounds. The Catalans are 10 points off the top heading into this match, having played a game more than the leaders and there is no margin for error here.
Elche, despite their obvious limitations, have shown they are no pushover and did hold Real Madrid on this ground only a few weeks back. They put in one of their best displays of the season in midweek, to go 2-0 up at Real Valladolid but they failed to kill the game off and had to settle for a 2-2 draw meaning it’s now 3 months without a win for Elche in LaLiga.
Jorge Almiron’s side could do with some fresh recruits if they are going to make a strong challenge to remain in this league. This game though is something of a free hit and they will take some confidence from the inconsistent nature of this Barcelona side.
It still feels a bit like one step forward and then one back for Ronald Koeman’s team. January has seen them play three league games so far, all away from home, and Barcelona won the lot including genuinely impressive performances in Bilbao and Granada. The team for the first time in a long time, had a balanced feel to it with Leo Messi back towards his best and the pieces around him seeming to click naturally into place.
However since that hat-trick of LaLiga wins, they endured a difficult time of it in the Supercopa, ultimately losing the Final against Athletic with Messi seeing red which ensures he will miss this game. They were then taken to Extra Time by Segunda B minnows Cornella in the Copa del Rey in midweek, but were at least spared the embarrassing exits suffered by the two Madrid clubs.
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Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 5 Barcelona Wins, 1 Draw.
- Barcelona have won the last 4 competitive meetings by aggregate score of 18-0.
- The clubs haven’t met competitively since a 6-0 Barca win here in LaLiga in January 2015.
- Barcelona were also 1-0 winners in a pre-season game between the teams in September.
Girona loanee Johan Mojica should continue at left wing-back for Elche who are missing Fidel to injury.
Leo Messi is suspended while Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Philippe Coutinho continue to be unavailable through injury.
Predicted Elche Starting Lineup:
Badia – Mojica, Gonzalez, Verdu, Josema, Barragan – Milla, Guti, Marcone, Josan – Boye (5-4-1)
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Ter Stegen – Alba, Lenglet, Araujo, Dest – De Jong, Busquets, Pedri – Dembele, Braithwaite, Griezmann (4-3-3)
Elche vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Elche 1-1 Barcelona
With Messi absent, this could turn into a difficult afternoon for Barcelona. Martin Braithwaite, while he has some good attributes, is simply not on the level of a player you’d expect to be starting up front for Barcelona and the pace and trickery of Ousmane Dembele may be less effective here against a team that will most likely park the bus. Elche have avoided defeat in 6 of their 9 home league games and they may just repeat the trick here, potentially the final nail in Barcelona’s coffin when it comes to talk of a possible title challenge.
Elche vs Barcelona Betting Tips (18+)
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