MX23RW : Sunday, October 20 18:01:00| >> :600:268658:268658:
Oct 19, 2019 at 12pm UK at ​Estadio Municipal de Ipurúa (Eibar)
FT(HT: 0-1)
Griezmann (14'), Messi (58'), Suarez (66')

Preview: Eibar vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Eibar and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barcelona ran out 4-0 winners against Sevilla in their last game but were reduced to nine men late on after two players were sent off in an eventful encounter.

Eibar, meanwhile, drew 1-1 away against Real Betis, leaving both clubs mired in the bottom half of the table, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Match Preview

Ernesto Valverde in charge of Barcelona on October 6, 2019© Reuters

Barcelona have returned to form after a shaky start to the season that saw them lose two and draw one of their opening five league games.

The Blaugrana have now won each of their last four matches in all competitions, and talisman Lionel Messi is fit and firing again.

Ernesto Valverde's side still trail unbeaten La Liga leaders and bitter rivals Real Madrid by two points, however, as they look to recover from their early dropped points.

Luis Suarez's recent hot streak in front of goal has been a major boost for the Catalan giants, with the Uruguayan hitting four goals in his last three games across all competitions.

The former Liverpool man's all-round performances have dropped in the last season or so, but he remains a prolific goalscorer and has produced some top-quality strikes in recent games.

Antoine Griezmann will hope to grab a few goals of his own in order to stand a chance of displacing Suarez up front, having managed just three goals himself since arriving from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

Eibar endured a difficult start to the campaign but have come into some form recently, going unbeaten in their last four games and picking up their first two wins of the season.

They missed out on the chance to move away from the drop zone against Betis last time out, however, drawing with the struggling outfit and having Gonzalo Escalante sent off in stoppage time as well.

Eibar form: DLDWWD
Barcelona form: DLWWWW

Team News

Antoine Griezmann in action for Barcelona on September 14, 2019© Reuters

Barcelona head coach Valverde is being forced to manage with a number of absences for the trip to Eibar, through both injury and suspension.

At centre-back, Samuel Umtiti is still sidelined, while Gerard Pique is suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards and debutant Ronald Araujo was sent off against Sevilla, leaving just Clement Lenglet and Jean-Clair Todibo.

Ousmane Dembele also earned himself a red card in the 4-0 win, meaning Griezmann is likely to replace him on the left wing, although Ansu Fati is a more natural fit for the role.

More positively, left-back Jordi Alba - on the bench in the last game - is likely to be available to start, allowing Nelson Semedo to return to right-back.

Escalante is suspended for the hosts after being sent off in the 91st minute of the 1-1 draw against Betis.

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; De Blasis, Olivera, Arbilla, Bigas; Alvarez, Diop, Exposito; Orellana, Kike, Inui

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Todibo, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Vidal, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann

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We say: Eibar 1-3 Barcelona

The absence of Pique could unsettle Barcelona's back-line enough for Eibar to grab a goal at home, but the star power of Messi, Suarez and Griezmann up front and the quality of De Jong and Arthur in midfield should prove too much for the hosts to handle.

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Ernesto Valverde in charge of Barcelona on October 6, 2019
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