Barcelona are back in action in La Liga this weekend as they take on Elche at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero in a crucial fixture on Sunday. The Catalan giants have blown hot and cold this season and cannot afford to lose this fixture.
Elche are currently in 18th place in the La Liga standings and have struggled to cope with the demands of the Spanish top-flight this season. The Valencia-based outfit played out a 2-2 draw with Real Valladolid last weekend and will have to play out of their skins in this game.
Barcelona find themselves in third place in the La Liga table and have managed to recover after a dismal start to the season. The Catalan giants are 10 points behind league-leaders Atletico Madrid and cannot afford to slip up for the rest of the season.
Elche vs Barcelona Head-to-Head
Barcelona have an exceptional record against Elche and have won six out of the seven matches played between the two sides. Elche have historically struggled against Barcelona and have a massive task on their hands this weekend.
The two sides met in September last year and Barcelona edged Elche to a narrow 1-0 victory. Antoine Griezmann scored the winning goal on the day and will want to make his mark on this game.
Elche form guide in La Liga: D-L-L-D-D
Barcelona form guide in La Liga: W-W-W-D-W
Elche vs Barcelona Team News
Fidel is currently injured for Elche and will be unable to feature in the game against Barcelona. Luismi, Tete Morente, Guido Carrillo, Dani Calvo, and Omenuke Mfulu are also carrying knocks and are unlikely to be risked this weekend.
Doubtful: Luismi, Tete Morente, Guido Carrillo, Dani Calvo, Omenuke Mfulu
Suspended: NoneLionel Messi is suspended for this match
Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati, and Sergi Roberto are currently injured and will not be able to play a part in this fixture. With Sergino Dest also a fitness concern, Oscar Mingueza is likely to fill in on the right flank.
Lionel Messi has been handed a two-match ban and will be excluded from the squad. Pedri and Sergio Busquets made substitute appearances against Cornella this week and are likely to play the full 90 minutes against Elche.
Injured: Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto
Doubtful: Sergino Dest
Suspended: Lionel Messi
Elche vs Barcelona Predicted XI
Elche Predicted XI (3-4-3): Edgar Badia; Diego Gonzalez, Gonzalo Verdu, Josema; Johan Mojica, Raul Guti, Ivan Marcone, Antonio Barragan; Pere Milla, Lucas Boye, Josan
Barcelona Predicted XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele
Elche vs Barcelona Prediction
Barcelona were made to toil in the Copa del Rey by a determined Cornella outfit during the week and will want to score early goals against Elche to ensure a comfortable outing. Ousmane Dembele made a massive difference against Cornella and will have to be at his best over the weekend.
In the absence of the talismanic Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann will have to step into the creative role in the final third and will want to impress Ronald Koeman. Barcelona have a better squad than Elche and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Elche 0-3 Barcelona