LaLiga: Eibar vs Barcelona preview


Spanish top-flight leaders Barcelona are looking to get back to winning ways but they have a difficult away match at seventh-placed Eibar on Saturday. The reverse fixture in September was an enjoyable one of the Barcelona fans, the Catalan giants won 6-1 at Camp Nou and Lionel Messi scored four goals. In fact, Barcelona have won all the last seven direct matches against Eibar, they have always won by two goals or more and scored at least three goals in six of those seven matches.

Eibar are heading towards their best ever finish in LaLiga, they are currently in seventh place after having won ten of their 23 matches so far this season. They are unbeaten in their last four matches and have won the last two, including a stunning 5-1 beating of Sevilla at the beginning of February. Eibar have lost just three home matches in the league this season, to Atletico Madrid, Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao. Sergi Enrich and Fran Rico are injured, while Paulo Oliveira could recover in time.

Barcelona are coming into this match after two consecutive draws in LaLiga, 1-1 at Espanyol and 0-0 at home against Getafe last weekend. Those two draws allowed Atletico Madrid to cut the gap towards the league leaders to just seven points, another mishap for Barcelona could reopen the title race. The Blaugrana also have a tough Champions League match to worry about as they travel to face Chelsea in the first knockout round next Tuesday. Thomas Vermaelen is the only injury concern for the visitors.

Probable line-ups:

Eibar: Dmitrovic - Pena, Ramis, Arbilla, Angel - Orellana, Diop, D. Garcia, Inui - Charles, K. Garcia

Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba - Coutinho, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta - Suarez, Messi

My prediction: 1-1 draw.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Eibar win - 6.50
Draw - 4.75
Barcelona win - 1.44

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