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Primera División

  • April 9, 2011
  • • 19:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
  • • Attendance: 70000
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La Liga preview: Barcelona - Almeria

La Liga preview: Barcelona - Almeria

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The Blaugrana have a firm hold on the Primera Division, and they'll aim to keep it that way by defeating the Andalucians...


PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Busquets, Adriano; Xavi, Mascherano, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro


Almeria: Diego Alves; Michel, Silva, Acasiete, Luna; M’Bami, Bernardello, Ortiz, Piatti, Crusat; Ulloa

Brescia



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Barcelona's form this season has been remarkable, and at present it seems that Pep Guardiola will threaten the 100 point mark. They've dropped only nine points this season.

  • On 16 occasions in league play this season, the Blaugrana have registered at least three goals, but they've dried up in front of goal somewhat of late, failing to make that mark in all of their last five matches.
  • Barca's 8-0 victory over Almeria is their biggest victory of the season - and their biggest league win under Guardiola.
  • Goalless in four club games, Lionel Messi is in his longest drought since last April, when he went five matches without scoring after striking the decisive goal in the Clasico.
  • Since losing to Mallorca on May 17, 2009, the Catalans have only been defeated in two Primera Division matches.
  • Almeria find themselves at the foot of the Primera Division table having recorded only five wins all season - two fewer than any other side in the league.
  • They've been particularly poor in the second half of matches, earning fewer points - they would have 31 for the season if only the second 45 minutes was considered - than any other team in the league after the break with the exception of Hercules.
  • Roberto Olabe becomes the club's third head coach of the season after Jose Luis Oltra departed earlier this week. The former Tenerife boss took over from Juan Manuel Lillo following the 8-0 home drubbing by Barca.
  • Away from home, Almeria have been sturdy defensively. Aside from the top three, only Real Zaragoza have conceded fewer goals than their tally of 21, though only 11 strikes have been mustered.


LAST MEETING


November 20, 2010: Almeria 0-8 Barcelona

Barcelona fired a Clasico warning shot to Real Madrid with a crushing 8-0 victory against hapless Almeria, whose defending was dreadful in a performance that ultimately accounted for coach Juan Manuel Lillo. Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta would both score in the opening 20 minutes before an own goal from Acasiete put the hosts in greater trouble. Further efforts arrived from Pedro and Messi made it 4-0 by the break. There was little relent after the break, when Messi would complete his hat-trick and lay on two goals for Bojan Krkic.

Players to watch

David Villa

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Rather uniquely, Barcelona’s front three are in something of a slump at the present time, but the midfield as stepped forward impressively to compensate. Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola will want his attackers to start firing again, with much of the emphasis falling onto the shoulders of David Villa, who has uncharacteristically struggled in front of goal in recent weeks.

S. Acasiete

Position: Defender

Games: 0

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Santiago Acasiete had something of a nightmare against Barca last time out, but he’s being relied upon to face the Blaugrana on this occasion largely because of selection problems in the visitors’ unit. The Peruvian international knows he requires a stellar game if the home side are to be quelled, and a repeat of his own goal last time again the Catalans would certainly be catastrophic.

Editor's Prediction

It’s impossible to predict anything other than a convincing Barcelona victory. A success of the magnitude of five months ago is extremely unlikely, but it would be one of the shocks of the season if they bottom club were to steal anything from Camp Nou.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Barcelona

Almería

Wins
5
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
Draw
UD Almería ALM
UD Almería Almería
92%

Top 3 Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
5 - 0
UD Almería ALM
FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 0
UD Almería ALM
FC Barcelona FCB
4 - 0
UD Almería ALM

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