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Almeria vs Barcelona: Preview, predictions and lineups


Barcelona are back in La Liga action on Thursday night as they travel to bottom-of-the table Almeria.

2023/24 has been a campaign of tumult for the Catalans, who endured a miserable title defence and have already relinquished their crown to Clasico rivals Real Madrid. Thus, their primary objective with three league games remaining is to hold off surprise package Girona for second spot.

Barca were beaten by their Catalonian rivals for the second time this season at the start of May, but a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Monday night means they hold a point advantage over Girona having played a game less.

Xavi’s side almost succumbed to their most embarrassing result of the season in the reverse fixture as Almeria twice drew level at the Montjuic in December, but Sergi Roberto’s second-half brace ensured Barca escaped with all three points.

Almeria were consigned to the drop in April and have won just two La Liga games all season – one of which arrived on 5 May away at Rayo Vallecano.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.

Almeria vs Barcelona H2H record (Last Five Games)

Current form (all competitions)

Almeria

Barcelona

Real Betis 3-2 Almeria – 12/05/24

Barcelona 2-0 Real Sociedad – 13/05/24

Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Almeria – 05/05/24

Girona 4-2 Barcelona – 04/05/24

Almeria 1-3 Getafe – 27/04/24

Barcelona 4-2 Valencia – 29/04/24

Almeria 1-2 Villarreal – 21/04/24

Real Madrid 3-2 – 21/04/24

Real Sociedad 2-2 Almeria – 14/04/24

Barcelona 1-4 PSG – 16/04/24

Country

TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Premier Sports 1, LaLigaTV, Premier Sports Player

United States

ESPN+, ESPN Deportes

Canada

TSN+

Largie Ramazani is once again suspended for Barcelona’s visit, with Almeria also set to be without injured pair Aleksandar Radovanovic and Iddrisu Baba.

Radovanovic is dealing with a thigh injury.

Almeria predicted lineup vs Barcelona (4-3-3): Maximiano; Pubill, Chumi, Gonzalez, Centelles; Robertone, Pena, Vieira; Baptistao, Lozano, Embarba.

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan is suspended on Thursday night / Ion Alcoba Beitia/GettyImages

The quick turnaround from Monday night’s game means we should see a few changes to Xavi’s XI in Almeria.

The Spaniard won’t be able to call upon the suspended Ilkay Gundogan, with Fermin Lopez the most likely to replace the German international.

Ronald Araujo should also come back into the side and replace Inigo Martinez at the heart of defence. Young Hector Fort could get a start at left-back.

The visitors are without Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, and Alejandro Balde.

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Almeria (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Cubarsi, Fort; Christensen, Pedri, Lopez; Ferran, Lewandowski, Felix.

Almeria gave Barcelona a scare in the reverse fixture, and their recent outings suggest they’ll make a good fist of it on Thursday night. They’re playing without pressure – they’re just not very good.

It’s been another rollercoaster for the visitors in the wake of Xavi’s U-turn, and perhaps more drama will unfold in this one. Anything but a win and questions will once again be raised of the manager.

Xavi will likely rotate for this fixture given the swift turnaround, but it’s hard to predict anything but a Barcelona win.

Prediction: Almeria 1-3 Barcelona

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