Following Real Madrid’s plucky draw at home to city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday, Barcelona have the opportunity to stretch their lead at the top of the La Liga table to ten points when they travel to face Almeria on Sunday.
Xavi Hernandez’s side are looking to make it eight consecutive league victories in Andalusia, and if they do, they’d equal a La Liga record in the process.
However, they will do so without Ronald Araujo, who is expected to be missing from the starting line-up due to discomfort in his right abductor. Sport predict that Eric Garcia will replace him in central defence. They also expect Gavi to replace Sergio Busquets upon his return from suspension, and Sergi Roberto to make way for Ferran Torres.
Marca predict that Busquets will start, with Gavi instead replacing Roberto as Xavi looks set to continue with his four midfielder system against the relegation strugglers. Jordi Alba is also set to start in place of Alejandro Balde.
Despite being 19th in La Liga, following victories for Cadiz and Valencia on Saturday, Almeria will not making it easy for Barcelona, as they look to continue their solid home record. Joan Rubi’s side, on the back of a disappointing 6-2 defeat to Girona last Friday, are expected to line up in a 5-3-2 system, with the purpose of shutting their opponents down offensively.
Barcelona know that they have a huge chance to stretch their La Liga lead to almost unassailable levels with a victory over Almeria. However, the hosts have their only battles to fight and will be desperate to take points off the Blaugrana.
Image via Getty