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Primera División

  • January 8, 2011
  • • 21:00
  • • Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruña (La Coruña)
  • Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
  • • Attendance: 32000
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La Liga Preview: Deportivo La Coruna - Barcelona

La Liga Preview: Deportivo La Coruna - Barcelona

The Spanish champions will once again have the chance to go five points clear at the top of the table...

The Curious Case Of Deportivo

Deportivo La Coruna are in a curious position in the Spanish Primera Division table. Having collected 21 points from 17 matches, the Galician side are 12th in the table, eight points above the relegation zone and six points off a Europa League slot - the perfect example of an also-ran with no urge of an adventure for the remainder of the league campaign.

Adventure for Depor, though, comes in the form of the Copa del Rey. The 3-1 extra-time defeat of Cordoba in the second-leg of their Round of 16 tie secured them a place in the quarter-finals and also saw them win their second successive game in the new year. On Sunday Depor defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in the Basque country for only their second away victory of the season in La Liga.

Going into Saturday's encounter against mighty Barcelona, Depor would be seeking at least a point at the Riazor. Miguel Angel Lotina's side are not exactly formidable on their home ground as they have won just three times. On the positive side, though, they have lost just once and have conceded only five goals in eight matches.

Picking Up Pace

Barcelona may still remain the best club side on the planet but the Spanish champions have yet to pick up momentum in the new year. The Blaugrana did commence 2011 on a winning note but the 2-1 league victory over Levante didn't come without moments of nervousness and doubt. Then in midweek Pep Guardiola's team just about crawled into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey as they got the better of Athletic Bilbao in the Round of 16 only on away goals' rule.

However, the former European champions have bounced back in style every time they have struggled and one expects them to do so this time too. Barcelona have a phenomenal away record in the Spanish Primera Division as they have won all eight matches on the road. Not only have the Blaugrana emerged victorious in those games, they have triumphed too, having scored a whooping 29 goals, conceding a miserly four.

Against a Deportivo La Coruna side who are floating in mid-table, Barca would expect themselves to pick up maximum points. With Lionel Messi back in the team, the world's most entertaining football team would also look to play exhibition football.

With 46 points from 17 matches, the Catalan side are currently two points clear of arch-rivals and second-placed Real Madrid and a win will increase that advantage to five until Sunday at least.



TEAM NEWS

Deportivo La Coruna


Riki, Michel and Andres Guardado are set to miss the game through injury, while Urreta and Knut Olav Rindaroy are doubtful. Albert Lopo, Manuel Pablo and Lassad Nouioui all will return after being rested in midweek.

Barcelona

Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique all will start the league encounter against Deportivo after missing last weekend's encounter. Ibrahim Afellay, signed in the winter, is in line to make his league debut. Left-back Maxwell has been included in the squad after overcoming a thigh strain.

Players to watch

Adrián

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Adrian scored a hat-trick against Cordoba in the Copa del Rey in midweek and has also scored four goals and provided two assists in the league. He seems to be in-form at the moment and could be a major headache for the Spanish champions.

L. Messi

Position: Attacker

Games: 33

  • 36
  • 3
  • 0
Lionel Messi was back in action for Barcelona in midweek as he took to the pitch against Athletic Bilbao. The Argentina international will start against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday and he will be keen to give a good impression of himself ahead of the FIFA Ballon d'Or decision on Sunday.

Editor's Prediction

A win for Deportivo La Coruna even at home against Barcelona looks a bleak option. The Blaugrana have a 100 per cent record on the road this campaign and even though they haven't looked exactly Barcelona-esque so far this new year, they will still be more than a match for the Galicians.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Deportivo La Coruña

Barcelona

Wins
0
1
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña DEP
Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña Deportivo La Coruña
Draw
FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
84%

Top 3 Predictions

Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña DEP
0 - 3
FC Barcelona FCB
Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña DEP
0 - 4
FC Barcelona FCB
Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña DEP
0 - 5
FC Barcelona FCB

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