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Xavi takes on Almeria in 2008. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

-Almeria are back in the top flight after two years in the second division.


- Their 35-year-old manager Francisco Rodríguez Vílchez is the youngest in the first division. He was formerly manager of the reserve team, and as a player was Almeria’s highest goalscorer of all time.


- Francisco faced Barça in the 2004/05 season while playing for Albacete.


- That means he was involved in the same game as the one in which Leo Messi scored his first league goal.


- The red-and-whites have never beaten Barça in the league, neither home nor away.


- In six previous league visits to Almeria, Barça have won three and drawn three.


- Their last meeting was an 8-0 win for Barça in 2010/11. In fact, that was FC Barcelona’s biggest ever away win in the league.


- Barça are one win away from their best ever start to a league season. They have never before won all of their opening seven matches.


- Barça is the top scoring side in Europe this season, with an average of 3.6 goals a game.


- Almeria, meanwhile, are one of just two teams that have yet to register a single win in the league this term. The other is Elche.


- They have eight goals in their account, and their top scorer is a former Barça man, Rodri, with 4.


- Nine of the Almeria squad have played against Barça before, but only veterans Soriano and Esteban have ever been on the winning side.


- Fernando Soriano beat Barça with Zaragoza in the 2003/04 season, and Esteban enjoyed the experience no fewer than three times between 1997 and 2000, when he was at Oviedo.


- Corona is the player who has the most experience of playing Barça. His teams have drawn with FCB twice, but on all the other nine occasions they finished empty handed.

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