Leganés vs Barcelona
Following the completion of the final two-week international break of the year, Barcelona are back in action in La Liga with a road trip to Madrid to face bottom of the table Leganés, who have just six points form their first 13 games and look very bad at the back, conceding 22 goals, second-worst in the league.
On paper this should be easy for the two-time defending champions and leaders, but this is Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona and no game is easy, especially away from home. But if there’s a time for Barça to finally show some life on the road and get a big win against a bad team, this is the time: Leganés will be the first opponent on what is going to be a BRUTAL schedule for Barça, with crucial Champions League matches and three incredibly tough league games against Atlético Madrid, Real Sociedad and Real Madrid.
If everything goes south and disaster happens, Barça will finish the month of December in the Europa League and a possible six or seven points behind the leaders in La Liga. And the craziest thing is that this tragic scenario may be the most realistic considering the quality of opponents, the amount of games in a short period, the injuries to key players in the team, and the poor coaching that continues to hold this team back.
If Barça want the rest of the season to mean anything, they need to win big and build confidence against Leganés. If there’s any doubt going forward, not only from fans but within the squad itself, then we could be in for a run of bad results we haven’t seen in a long, long time at this club. Time to step up or step aside, Ernesto. And you, Bartomeu. And you, players. This mess is on all of you. Don’t make it worse.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Wagué, Piqué, Umtiti, Firpo; Rakitic, De Jong, Vidal; Dembélé, Messi, Griezmann
Leganés (3-4-1-2): Cuéllar; Siovas, Bustinza, Omeruo; Rosales, Mesa, Rivera, Silva; Rodríguez; En-Nesyri, Braithwaite
Shot on Target Over 7.5
Messi Over 3.5 shots