Barcelona hoping to calm things against Eibar without Dembele

Published On: September 19, 2017 12:10 AM NPT By: ABHISHEK SUBEDI

BARCELONA, Sept 18: When Barcelona were to face Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Saturday, it had only one thing on its mind, get the three points on board and extend the lead over Real Madrid to seven points, before the reigning champions faced Real Sociedad the day after.

But, the game couldn’t go in its favor early on. Getafe’s Gaku Shibasaki scored a tremendous goal in the 39th minute to take the lead against Barcelona for the first time in the season by any club. It was 1-0 until the hour mark had gone, but substitute Denis Suarez equalized in the 62nd minute to make it 1-1 and Paulinho scored a terrific goal from the assist of Lionel Messi in the 84th to finally take the lead.

It was the change of plan what favoured Barcelona in the second half. Denis was brought in just after the beginning of the second period while Paulinho on the 77th minute to try a different approach. Well it worked but the performance was not something to admire of.

New Barca boss Ernesto Valverde would not like to repeat the same approach in the coming game against Eibar in the Camp Nou Stadium, without Ousmane Dembele out with a hamstring injury for over four months and Luis Suarez completely out-of-form.

Real Madrid, however, will be looking for a win when they face Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu, after a 1-3 away win at Anoeta on Sunday. Real Sociedad were comfortably beaten at home despite showing some signs of improvement early on the season with three back-to-back wins.

Barcelona is still on top of the table with 12 points while Real Madrid is fourth with eight points.

Team news

Barcelona’s Rafinha is still out injured along with Arda Turan while Dembele will undergo treatment on Tuesday. Nelson Semedo should be back in the starting lineup this time having been on the bench for the whole 90 minutes. Gerard Deulofeu will surely start the game against Eibar this time around and Denis Suarez expected to get some game time after a good performance backed by the equalizing goal he scored against Getafe. Paco Alcacer should be back for the upcoming match while Mascherano expected to be at least on the bench. Sergi Roberto would likely start in his preferred midfield position having started in the Right Back role in the last game.

Valverde might want to rotate the squad, keeping in mind the four back-to-back matches in the space of 11 days, including the Champions League clash against Sporting on September 28.

Eibar, who has won two and lost two in the league so far, will be without Pedro Leon and Fran Rico through knee injuries, Ivan Ramis with calf injury and Yoel Rodriguez with a cruciate ligament injury.

Eibar’s Alejandro Galvez may as well start again at the center of the defense after an outstanding performance as they beat Leganes 1-0 at home. Dani Garcia and Takashi Inui were brilliant in the midfield roles with the pair playing full 90 minutes.

Eibar brought number of players in the transfer market welcoming David Lomban as a free transfer, , Luis Lara from Linares Deportivo, Paulo Oliviera from Sporting CP, Jose Angel from Porto, Angel Lopez Perez from Alcoyano, Pablo Hervias Ruiz from Sociedad, Charles from Malaga, Marko Dmitrovic and Ivan Alejo Peralta from Alcorcon and Yoel from Valencia. On the other hand, Nano departed to Levante on loan until next year, Ander Capa went to Athletic Bilbao, Thaylor was sent to Caudal Deportivo on free, Jordi Calavera to Sporting Gijon on Unai Elgezbal on loan to Numancia, Florian Lejuene to Newcastle for around $11 million, Adrian Gonzalez on free to Malaga, and Antonio Luna also on free to Levante.


Barcelona has been pretty dominating against Eibar in head-to-head as it has emerged victorious over all the last six meetings. Barcelona had beaten Eibar on home by 3-0 in October in 2014 while two goals from Messi helped Barca win 2-0 in March of the same year.

In 2015, Barcelona registered a 3-1 win in October while it swept aside Eibar by 4-0 in the match played in March in the same season. Barcelona was rampant in June when it beat Eibar in the start of the year by the same 0-4 scoreline away from home.

While the May encounter was ended in a 4-2 Barca win despite Eibar taking a 0-2 lead until 60th minute and Messi missing a penalty.

Recent form

Barcelona would want to make it five on five in the seventh meeting with Eibar. Messi didn’t score against Getafe last time out, but he’ll want to add to his tally while Luis Suarez would want to improve on his poor form. It’ll be a blessing in disguise for Deulofeu for getting a chance and to prove Valverde as he is also in contention for his place in Barca.

While Eibar would be hoping to make avoid any further defeat against Barcelona and salvage a point from the Camp Not, though it’s not going to be easy keeping in mind the form Barca are in and the head-to-head results.

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