Insight and Analysis: Barcelona vs Elche LaLiga 2021 Match Prediction and Preview.
Barcelona vs Elche LaLiga 2021 Match Prediction,Preview, Injuries/Suspension, Match Facts, Team News and Where to Watch.
Barcelona’s season has been lackluster to say the least, having been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage and falling five points short of the top five places in La Liga (LL).
Xavi Hernández, the new manager, is keen for a revival, but his task has been made more difficult by Sergio Agüero’s abrupt retirement (due to health concerns) after only five competitive games with Barcelona.
If there’s any solace for Barça, it’s the fact that they’ve won 71% of their league points at home this season.
Furthermore, the Spanish giants have not lost consecutive LL home games since April 2016, and have never lost a top-flight home game against their opponents here, Elche (W15, D7).
Breaking the jinx will be a huge lift for the relegation-threatened visitors, who are only two points above the bottom three at the start of this round (W3, D6, L8).
Elche hasn’t won a top-flight H2H anywhere since December 1974, and they haven’t scored in any top-flight H2H since April 1978!
On a more positive note, the visitors have scored in 12 of their previous 15 LL games.
Naturally, any victory for Elche will require them to overcome their previous seven-game winless away league form (D2, L5).
They are likely to make Barça fans concerned, given their previous four away league losses have all been by a single goal.
Referee: Rojas J. A. (Esp), Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Players to Watch
Nicolás González scored the first goal for Barcelona last time out (2-2), and he has now scored in two stalemates this season.
Meanwhile, Lucas Boyé has scored the first goal in each of Elche’s last four league games.
Prior to this round, both Barça and Elche have kept a league-low three clean sheets.
Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Sergi Roberto have all been ruled out of the tournament.
Jordi Alba is close to returning, but Gerard Pique is suspended and will almost certainly be replaced by Eric Garcia.
Last time out, Samuel Umtiti was a surprise choice, and he’ll almost certainly keep his spot due to necessity.
Sergio Aguero’s career was cut short this week due to a heart problem.
Pedro Bigas and Johan Mojica are both question marks, though the latter has a possibility of making the team.
Elche isn’t likely to have a chance here, with Francisco set to stick to his guns following a good performance last time out.
Factors to Consider
In all competitions, Barcelona has preserved a clean sheet in their last nine matches against Elche.
In all competitions, Barcelona has won the last seven meetings with Elche.
In their last four home encounters against Elche in all competitions, Barcelona has scored at least three goals.
Over 2.5 goals have been scored in each of Barcelona’s last four home encounters against Elche in all competitions.
Over 2.5 goals have been scored in five of Elche’s previous six games (LaLiga).
In Barcelona’s last three home games, there have been fewer than 2.5 goals scored (LaLiga).
Elche has lost their past seven away games (LaLiga).
Barcelona’s woes continued last weekend, as they were held to a 2-2 tie by Osasuna despite goals from Nico Gonzalez and Abde.
That loss comes after a thumping by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and Xavi Hernandez’s side has now gone three games without a win.
Since then, the Blaugrana have traveled to Saudi Arabia to face Boca Juniors in a one-year-anniversary tribute match to Diego Maradona.
It will be fascinating to see how that result affects Barcelona’s fitness levels in this match. On paper, the trip isn’t what Barcelona’s struggling team needed.
Barcelona is now in eighth place, three points out of the Europa League places and five points behind the top four.
Elche, however, is in 16th place, just two points above the relegation zone, despite the fact that they should be doing better.
Last weekend, they were defeated by Valencia away from home, with Cristiano Piccini scoring late to overturn Lucas Boye’s equalizer.
However, despite the ball crossing the line, Elche had a goal ruled off earlier in the game.
The lack of goal-line technology in La Liga was to fault, and Elche were rightly enraged.
Elche has beaten lower league opponents in the Copa del Rey since that defeat, and before that, they had beaten Cadiz and drew with Osasuna in a promising start to life under new manager Francisco.
Barcelona are the clear favourites, although Elche will be encouraged by the Blaugrana’s frequent misfortunes.
Where to Watch
Arena Sport (Cro), Arena Sport (Svn), beIN Sport Max (Fra), CBC Sport (Az), CMore (Fin), CMore Live (Swe), CMore Sport (Fin), DAZN Deutsch, DAZN Italia, DAZN Japan, Digi Sport 2 (Rom), Eleven Sports 1 (Pol), Eleven Sports (Bel), Eleven Sports (Por), Look Sport, Max Sport, Nova Sport 4 (Cze), Nova Sports (Hel), Setanta Sports Eurasia, Spiler2 TV, S Sport, Telekom Sport (Rom), TV2 Sport Premium, TV2 Sport X (Den), Ziggo Kanaal 14, Ziggo Sport Select