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After beating high-flying Getafe last week, while Real Madrid were held at home to Celta, there is just one point in it at the top of the Liga table, and Barça are now at home again this time to Eibar (4.00pm CET) as they look to put further pressure on the leaders, who are away to Levante later in the day.
Did you know?
Eibar’s game with Real Sociedad last weekend was cancelled due to "high levels of chemical compounds detected in the air" caused by the collapse of a landfill site in the area.
Eibar have never beaten Barça, and the five games at Camp Nou have always seen the Catalans score at least three goals
In ten games against Eibar, Leo Messi has never failed to either score a goal (total of 16) or give an assist (3), and in 2017 he netted no fewer than FOUR times in this fixture. His quite outstanding return of 1.6 goals a game is his best average against any team.
Remember Takashi Inui? The Japan international scored twice to give the Basques the lead at Camp Nou in 2017 – though Barça survived the scare by going on to win 4-2.
Quique Setién will be surprisingly well prepared for this game. He has faced Eibar more than any other team in his managerial career (17). He has lost three of the five meetings, but hopefully it’ll be a different story now that he’s managing Barça!
Meanwhile, Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar knows all about Messi. The Argentinian has scored more goals, 25, against sides managed by him than any other manager.
Eibar have the lowest shot accuracy rate in La Liga, with just 37.8% of their efforts being on target, while Barça lead the competition with 62.2%.
Last five meetings
19/10/19 (LIGA) Eibar 0 Barça 3 (Griezmann, Messi, Suárez)
19/05/19 (LIGA) Eibar 2 Barça 2 (Messi 2)
13/01/19 (LIGA) Barça 3 (Suárez 2, Messi) Eibar 0
17/02/18 (LIGA) Eibar 0 Barça 2 (Suárez, Alba)
19/09/17 (LIGA) Barça 6 (Messi 4, Paulinho, Suárez) Eibar 1
Last five games
Liga: Barça 2-1 Getafe
Liga: Betis 2-3 Barça
Copa: Athletic 1-0 Barça
Liga: Barça 2-1 Levante
Copa: Barça 5-0 Leganés
Liga: Alavés 2-1 Eibar
Liga: Eibar 1-1 Betis
Liga: Celta 0-0 Eibar
Copa: Badajoz 3-1 Eibar
Liga: Eibar 2-0 Atlético Madrid
What they’re saying
Eibar manager José Luis Mendilbar: “You see Barça and it’s like a horror movie. We can’t afford to get scared or have doubts. Get scared and you’ll get beat … Even if they don0t play well they create chances and one lapse in concentration and they’ll have you … I doubt they’ll rest Messi. That bugger rests in games. He knows when he needs to get involved and when to rest.”
Eibar’s Serbian goalie Marko Dmitrović: "We won’t change anything because it’s the Camp Nou. It won’t be easy against that team on such a big pitch where they soak up the pressure so easily.”
Quique Setién: "Every game is a new experience, requiring different analysis. They're an opponent who are very intense, especially in their pressing. We expect that Eibar will try to press us high, and have the ball in our half. We've been working hard throughout the week."
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