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After the Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, LaLiga action returns as Cádiz visit the Camp Nou. The match (Sunday, 2.00pm CET) hands Barça the chance to make it eight wins in a row in the domestic competition, whilst their opponents will be hoping to repeat their result from earlier in the season after losing five of the last six games in all competitions.
LaLiga State of Play
Atlético Madrid had built up such a big lead in La Liga that it was looking less and less likely that anyone was going to catch them. But the gap had narrowed following two draws, and on Saturday they were stunned 2-0 at home to Levante. It means that a win on Sunday would move Barça to within six points of the leaders, who no longer have a game in hand.
Real Madrid won 1-0 in Valladolid on Saturday night, and that moves them to within three points of Atlético. Fourth-placed Sevilla visit Osasuna on Monday night.
In the league, in 25 meetings Barça have only ever lost three times to Cádiz: once in the 1981/82 season, a 4-0 in 1990/91 just days before claiming the league title and earlier this season (2-1).
Before the match earlier this season, the last time the two sides met came in April 2006 when a goal from Ronaldinho handed Barça all three points. The blaugranes went on to claim the league title and Cádiz were relegated, returning only this season after promotion from the Second Division.
Did you know?
Barcelona have just lost one of their last 19 home LaLiga games against Andalusian sides (W16 D2), 3-4 vs Real Betis in November 2018.
Lionel Messi has scored against 37 of the 40 rivals he has faced in LaLiga with the exceptions of Xerez (two games), Real Murcia (one game) and Cádiz (two games).
Messi will also become the Barcelona player with the most appearances in LaLiga ever, passing Xavi Hernández (both currently on 505).
Cádiz coach Álvaro Cervera is facing Barça for the third time. As well as the game earlier this season, he also lost 2-0 as Racing Santander manager in March 2012. As a player, he only managed one win in his 13 top-flight matches against the blaugranes, 1-0 with Mallorca in October 1989.
Antoine Griezmann has been involved in seven goals in his last six LaLiga appearances (three goals and four assists), as many as in his previous 33 games in the competition (five goals and two assists).
Cádiz have conceded 15 goals in their last four matches after letting in just seven in their previous seven in all competitions.
Ronald Koeman announced his squad on Saturday morning
Missing through injury are Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Ronald Araújo.
"The world doesn’t end with a defeat. We need to analyse, talk and train. We gave away too many balls the other day. We cannot lose our intensity, we need to react and move on, and I expect us to be strong against Cádiz".
"We need another game after the defeat to show that we can get good results. We know what’s happened and now we must react.”
"We’re still alive in three competitions. The Champions League is very difficult. With more luck and taking our chances we can turn the cup tie around. I’m confident we can still go through. In the league we’re relying on teams above us dropping points. But I’m not so negative. We are Barça.”
"We need to concentrate more at set pieces. We aren’t as tall or strong as other teams so we mustn’t give away silly free kicks that can hurt us.”
“Gerard Piqué is good. We did well to play him for 60-65 minutes. He has no after effects. He got some rest and can play.”
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