Barcelona face Elche at Camp Nou this evening in a La Liga tie of paramount importance to the Catalan side. It’s fair to say that the Xavi era has gotten off to a rather inauspicious start, and they need to start winning games quickly and convincingly if they’re to prevent a bad season from becoming a catastrophic one.
Barcelona go into the game sitting eighth in La Liga, five points off Atletico Madrid and the top four and a whopping 18 behind league leaders Real Madrid. Elche are in 16th, just two points clear of Cadiz and the relegation zone. Elche are simultaneously the best opponents Barcelona could face and the worst. The best because they’re not very good. The worst because if Barcelona fail to beat them, it will be an absolute disaster.
Barcelona have set up in a 4-3-3, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen starting in goal behind a back four of Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba. Sergio Busquets will sit in midfield, with Frenkie de Jong and Gavi either side. Ferran Jutgla will lead the line, flanked by Ez Abde and Ousmane Dembele.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 18, 2021