Barça must raise its head against bottom team Almería

Barça must raise its head against bottom team Almería


FC Barcelona receives UD Almería this Wednesday at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys (7:00 p.m.), on matchday 18 of LaLiga EA Sports, in a match that they must win in order, against the bottom team and despite having significant losses, to be able to lift head and put an end to the streak of three duels without a win between the League and 'Champions'.

Barça is not doing well at the end of the year. Or not, at least, as it should. Xavi Hernández's team comes from drawing at Mestalla against Valencia and losing at home against the leader of the domestic competition, Girona FC, while in 'Champions' they suffered a defeat, without consequences for already being group leader, against the Antwerp.

This scenario forces the Blaugrana team, against an Almería team that also arrives with losses and is bottom with just 5 points in 17 games, to win and to do so with solvency and good play. The goal is victory, but given the rarefied climate in the 'culer' environment in terms of the game, it is equally important to do so in a way that doubts begin to dissipate.

Despite the fact that Xavi defends, as he should do in public, his team and players, the current Barça is far from the best Barça of last year. Less defensive forcefulness and less offensive success, with the inability to finish the strung-up plays, have translated into unexpected results and the creation of a buzz that becomes greater duel after duel.

The thing is clear; Drawing or even winning while suffering against the bottom team can be detrimental for a Barça under construction that is asked for much more. And that could add even more pressure to the players and the coaching staff, despite the fact that the official discourse at all levels of the club calls for calm and to ensure that they move in the same direction, with total trust in the Egarense coach.

In this endeavor of leaving behind the bad game in Antwerp and the bad results in Girona and Valencia, the path is complicated by a new injury to midfielder Pedri, who noticed some discomfort in training on Tuesday after a blow and will be out, with a small muscle injury, against Almería and ahead of the friendly on December 22 in Dallas against América from Mexico.

Once again without Pedri or his magic, the midfield will suffer again. Furthermore, against Almería there will be no Frenkie De Jong, who must complete a suspension cycle, and the rest of the casualties are Marcos Alonso, Marc-André Ter Stegen, Iñigo Martínez and Gavi.

Of course, Almería's current medical situation is not better. Coach Gaizka Garitano added two new casualties, those of Robertone (suspended and injured) and Melero, to those of Milovanovic, Svidersky, Pubill, Luis Suárez and Koné. Many absences that make it difficult to get something positive out of Montjuïc, despite the fact that Barça is not there to rave about either way.

Garitano could repeat a five-man defense and double pivot to try to tie the tie and look for a goal on the counterattack. An option that wins entirely based on these multiple losses and seeing that this Barça, who will not have either Pedri or De Jong, has recently found it difficult to associate between the lines and be fine in terms of positional and precision play.

It will be the last official match of the year at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium and Barça wants to say goodbye to its fans by giving them a good victory, which is as necessary for the 'culers' as it is for an Almería team that, after being left out of the Copa del Rey, gave They faced Atlético de Madrid (2-1 at the Metropolitano) and drew against Mallorca (0-0) in the last two league games.



FC BARCELONA: Rock; Cancelo, Araujo, Christensen, Bucket; Romeu, Fermin, Gundogan; Raphinha, Lewandowski and John Felix.

UD ALMERÍA: Maximiano; Pozo, Chumi, Montes, Edgar, Akieme; Baba, Lopy; Above, Baptistao and Embarba.

–REFEREE: Cuadra Fernández (Balearic Islands).

— STADIUM: Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium.

–TIME: 19.00/Movistar LaLiga TV.