Eibar vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the hosts bow out of the top flight.
|Date||Saturday 22nd May 2021|
|Kick-Off||18:00 (local time)|
Eibar vs Barcelona Preview
It’s the end of an era on Saturday as Eibar’s fairytale seven year stint in the top flight comes to an end with Barcelona visiting Ipurua. Victory over the Catalan giants would be a fabulous way to bow out in a game that has little riding on it for either side.
Eibar had their relegation confirmed last weekend as Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Valencia. Having taken 7 points from their previous 3 matches, Eibar approached it with real belief that a miraculous escape was possible but they were quickly blown away by Los Che and results elsewhere meant they can no longer overhaul 3 teams to stay afloat.
They have struggled to replace key players over the past couple of years and to some extent their relegation comes as no surprise. The real story is that of how such a tiny, small town club managed to establish themselves in the top flight in the first place.
Once the dust settles on this campaign, they will begin the process of trying to get back here and whether it’s with or without Mendilibar, Eibar ought to be in a position to make a strong push for promotion next term. The current financial rules are very favourable to relegated clubs from the Primera in their first season in the second tier, so while they will still be a small fish even in the Segunda Division, on the pitch they ought to be very competitive if they can get the recruitment right.
It’s also going to be a very interesting summer at FC Barcelona with uncertainty also surrounding the future of their coach. That dominant win over Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey Final already seems like a lifetime ago and following the collapse of their title challenge, the suspicion is that Ronald Koeman may now be replaced ahead of the 2021/22 season.
While there have been plenty of positives from his year at the helm and a clearer sense of direction on the pitch, the way they’ve fallen out of title contention really has done a lot of damage. A return of just 5 points from their last 5 games is unforgivable at this stage in the campaign with Celta Vigo’s 2-1 win at Camp Nou last time out ending their challenge altogether. As a result, they will finish outside the top two in LaLiga for the first time since 2007/08.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Barcelona Wins, 2 Draws.
- Eibar picked up a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou earlier this term.
- Barcelona have won on 5 of their 6 league trips to Ipurua.
- The exception was a 2-2 draw in May 2019.
Eibar are expected to be at full strength for their final game in the Primera.
Leo Messi has been left out of what could have been his last game in a Barcelona shirt. Clement Lenglet is suspended while Marc-André ter Stegen is out injured. Pedri is also absent.
Predicted Eibar Starting Lineup:
Dmitrovic – Cote, Arbilla, Oliveira, Correa – Exposito, Atienza, Diop, Gil – Enrich, Kike (4-4-2)
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Neto – Umtiti, Pique, Araujo – Alba, Ilaix, Busquets, De Jong, Dest – Dembele, Griezmann (3-5-2)
Eibar vs Barcelona Prediction: Barcelona to Win 3-2
This will be a strange kind of game with both teams having experienced bitter disappointments over the past fortnight. Nothing that happens here will salvage either season but overall the gulf in class is likely to tell in the end and Barcelona should end their season with victory as Ipurua waves goodbye to the Primera.