Barcelona vs Elche predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Xavi’s side target a much needed win.
|Saturday 18th December 2021
|18:30 (local time)
Barcelona vs Elche Preview
Elche are the visitors to Camp Nou this weekend and in theory this is a fixture that should offer Xavi Hernandez and his underperforming Barcelona side some much needed festive cheer. It’s still too early for anyone to really turn against Xavi and his legendary status at the club will buy him more time than most, but he will already be starting to get a sense of just how difficult a job this is going to be.
He wouldn’t have returned to Barcelona expecting his team to immediately play like some of the Barca teams he was involved in, however he might have anticipated more of a reaction from this group of players than he has got. It’s two wins, two draws and two defeats for Xavi so far in a run which has seen his team knocked out of the Champions League.
There have been some positives. The performances of youngsters such as Abde and Nico, who both scored in the 2-2 draw at Osasuna last weekend, offers hope moving forwards. However in a rather pointed comment, Xavi has gone as far as suggesting that the club are currently being carried by the youngsters and more is certainly needed from the experienced players.
This is the kind of stage where Barcelona’s talented creative players should be able to express themselves quite well. Elche rank amongst the worst teams in LaLiga in most categories and only two sides have conceded more goals than them this season. However this is also an Elche side that is experiencing something of a new manager bounce under the leadership of Francisco.
Elche have won 3 of their 4 games so far under the former Huesca boss. Admittedly two of those were against lower league opponents in the Copa del Rey but it still breeds confidence although they were beaten at Mestalla last weekend in LaLiga with Cristiano Piccini’s late goal sealing a 2-1 win for Valencia. Any kind of result would clearly be a massive bonus for Elche here but teams do travel to Camp Nou these days with a belief that a result is possible and they will have their moments in the game.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 6 Barcelona Wins.
- Elche haven’t avoided defeat against Barcelona since a 0-0 home draw in May 2014.
- They’ve already suffered 2-0 and 3-0 defeats against Barcelona in LaLiga in 2021.
- Elche haven’t scored on any of their 4 trips to Camp Nou this century, conceding 15 in the process.
Sergio Aguero has retired from football this week in a sad end to a wonderful career. That’s a fresh blow for Barcelona who are also missing Pedri, Ansu Fati, Memphis, Martin Braithwaite and Sergi Roberto here with Jordi Alba rated doubtful.
Johan Mojica and Pedro Bigas are the main doubts for the visitors.
Barcelona vs Elche Predictions
Score Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Elche
It’s a sad state of affairs at Barcelona when you’re not totally confident about them winning even these kinds of fixtures. The likes of Alaves and Granada have already left Camp Nou with a result this season and the Catalans do have significant injury problems but ought to still have just enough quality to see off struggling opposition.
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