Mathieu has made 30 appearances for Barça so far this season / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The Barça defender has in his job description the task of preventing goals. However, in his last two league games he himself has found the net on two separate occasions, the first against Real Madrid in the 2-1 victory in the Clásico and in the recent 1-0 away in at Celta Vigo. Both goals were key in helping the blaugranes claim six points from the last six available.

Mathieu scored his first as a blaugrana in the second leg of the last 16 Spanish Cup tie against Elche in the 4-0 away win. The Frenchman found the net with an excellent free kick in that game and now with 30 appearances as a Barça player under his belt, he can consider himself a vital part of Luis Enrique’s squad. The former Valencia man played 10 of the first 13 games of the season, and after a run of injuries he is now firmly established once again with 12 appearances in the last 14 matches.

Below we look at some of the statistics that show Mathieu’s importance to the team:

-30 games: In Balaídos he reached a figure that consists of 21 league games, five Spanish Cup games and four in the Champions League.
-25 appearances in the starting 11: He has appeared only five times as a substitute and has played all 90 minutes on 21 occasions.
-2,290 minutes: His minutes on the field have been shared between 1,681 minutes in the league, 320 in the Spanish Cup and 289 in the Champions League.
-3 goals: With his two league goals and his goal against Elche in the Spanish Cup, Mathieu is on the verge of equalling his best ever goalscoring season which was last year when he found the net on four occasions playing for Valencia.
-5 yellow cards: He has been booked five times this season, once in the Spanish Cup and four times in the league. The latter means that if he plays against Almería and is shown a yellow card, he will miss the game at the weekend against Sevilla due to suspension.