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FC Barcelona take on Almería at Spotify Camp Nou this Saturday at 9pm CET. It’s the first meeting between the clubs since 2015, so they may need some introduction. Here are the details.
Where are they from?
Almería is a city of almost 200,000 people in the east of Andalusia in southern Spain. Its name, meaning ‘city of the watchtower’ is of Arabic origin, as is the city, which was established by the Moors, who built the , the second biggest Muslim fortress in Spain and the city’s main attraction today.
Unión Deportiva Almería, as it is now named, is a young club, founded in 1989 although arguably a continuation of older teams. The city quickly identified with its new team and in 2007-08 they were competing in La Liga for the first time ever, finishing in what remains a record eighth position.
They were top flight regulars for a few years, also reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals, where they were thumped 8-0 on aggregate by FC Barcelona.
They eventually dropped back to the second division, where they spent the last seven years. Now owned by Saudi businessman Turki Al-Sheikh, they finished top the second division last season are finally back at the top table.
Head to head
Aside from the huge Copa del Rey win in twelve previous league meetings, Barça have won ten, drawn two and never lost to Almería. The most spectacular of those wins was an amazing 8-0 victory in Andalusia 2010.
When playing at home, the Catalans have won every time, including a 4-0 in the last ever meeting between the sides, the goals scored by Leo Messi, Luis Suárez (2) and Marc Bartra.
Last five meetings (all in La Liga)
08/04/15 Barça 4-0 Almería
08/11/14 Almería 1-2 Barça
02/03/14 Barça 4-1 Almería
28/09/13 Almería 0-2 Barça
09/04/11 Barça 3-1 Almería
Other than a 2-1 defeat of Sevilla, Almería struggled to get going at the start of the season, but things have been picking up since. They have won their last three games at home.
It’s their away form that’s letting them down. On the road they have yet to win and have lost the last five.
El Bilal Touré (Mali, 13), Dyego Sousa (Portugal, 2), Srđan Babić (Serbia, 2), Alejandro Pozo (Spain, 1)
Left-back Sergio Akieme was at Barça B from 2019-21, and was called up to the first team when Jordi Alba was injured but never got to make his debut. He eventually went to Almería on loan and is now there on a permanent basis.
Centre-back Juan Brandáriz, known as Chumi is a product of La Masia whose solitary first team appearance was in the Copa del Rey match with Cultural Leonesa in 2018. He joined Almería in 2020.
Rubi never played at the highest level, but has gone to become a highly respected coach., including a spell working with the late Tito Vilanova at Barça.
His long series of managerial positions have included time at Valladolid, Levante, Huesca (who he guided into the first division for the first time ever), Espanyol and Betis. He took over at Almería last season, leading them back into La Liga.
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