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Sporting Gijon vs Barcelona : Preview, TV Channel Info,Team News, Prediction, Betting Odds

Gijon's recent form may be encouraging, but it falls horribly short against the might of the Catalans.

La Liga leaders Barcelona travel to Asturias to play the game in hand against Sporting Gijon at El Molinon as the defending champions look to widen the gap at the top to 6 points.

Scheduled originally in December, the match between the sides was moved due to Barcelona’s participation in the Club World Cup during the time, and is now congested between the busy February schedule, with a Champions League trip to North London to face Arsenal just over a week away.

Considering the kind of run that the Blaugrana have been on this year, they’ll remain unfazed, despite. Since the 0-0 draw at Espanyol at the start of the year, the reigning European champions have won every game barring the 1-1 draw at Valencia last week, but they’d fielded a weakened line-up in that match.

As Barcelona gear up for a packed schedule, with 4 matches in the next 12 days, we bring all the details about their fixture against the promoted Sporting Gijon that you need to know.

Kickoff and Live Telecast

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 – 11:00 PM (IST)

Live Telecast: Sony Kix

Venue: El Molinon, Gijon

Team News

Hosts Sporting Gijon do not have fresh injury concerns, but will continue to remain without the defending duo of Roberto Canella and Bernardo Espinosa, who continue their recovery in the recovery room.

As for Barcelona, the visitors head into the tie all full strength, while Rafinha is the only long term absentee.

Probable line-ups

Sporting Gijon (4-2-3-1) : Cuellar; Vranjes, Hernandez, Mere, Lopez; Atmane, Picon; Carmona, Ndi, Rodriguez; Guerrero.

Barcelona (4-3-3) : Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar.

Form guide

There has been a slight upturn in the form of the promoted side Sporting Gijon. After losing 5 games on the trot from matchday 15 to matchday 20, the Rojiblancos have gone the subsequent 4 games unbeaten, a run that also saw them become the first side to win at Mestalla this season after their narrow 1-0 win over Valencia.

Antonio Sanabria and Alen Halilovic have been central to their revival as the attacking duo have led the line for Gijon with their fine form up front. Courtesy to them, the club have successfully climbed their way out of the relegation zone and sit pretty on 16th, 2 points clear in safety.

Last 5 matches: L-W-W-D-D (Last result: Sporting Gijon 2-2 Rayo Vallecano)

Without an iota of doubt, Barcelona enter the tie as the form team. The Blaugrana juggernaut have been on a strong run, sweeping everything aside on their way. The fiersome attacking troika of Messi, Suarez and Neymar are punching holes in defences beyond repair and their imperious form has been a catalyst to their blistering surge.

After brushing Valencia aside 8-1 on aggregate, the treble holders progressed to the finals of Copa Del Rey for the third successive year, and right now lead the pack in the Primera division by 4 points, keeping alive the hopes of a repeat of last year’s feat.

Last 5 matches: W-W-W-D-W (Last result: Barcelona 6-1 Celta Vigo)

Key stats

  • Barcelona haven’t lost in the league since 3rd October 2015.
  • Sporting Gijon haven’t beaten Barcelona in the last 15 official meetings.
  • Luis Enrique will preside over his first game against Sporting Gijon as a manager, the club he started his playing career with.

Prediction

  • As it is written on the tin, Barcelona to take this one without breaking a sweat. Gijon’s recent form may be encouraging, but it falls horribly short against the might of the Catalans.

Predicted score: Sporting Gijon 0-2 Barcelona

Betting Odds (bet365)

Sporting Gijon – 4/1

Draw – 5/2

Barcelona – 9/4

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