Borja Bastón is Eibar's top scorer so far this season / LFP

Until last season, Eibar had never met FC Barcelona before. After the Basque club won promotion to the First Division for the first time in 2014, they finally came to the Camp Nou. They lost that day and suffered the same fate in the return at Ipurua. This season under new manager José Luis Mendilibar they have got off to a cracking start in La Liga, as they did last year under Gaizka Garitano, where they were eighth at the halfway stage.

Another good start

Eibar eventually dropped off the pace last term, finishing in the relegation zone, although they were ultimately able to stay up after Elche went down instead for financial reasons.  And things are working out nicely for them in their second season of top flight football. They are seventh with a fine haul of 13 points, just five fewer than Barça, and with two wins and two draws have yet to be beaten on the road. They beat both Granada and Las Palmas away and managed to get a point from their trips to Malaga and Levante. Their home record is also admirable considering the high quality of the opposition they have come up against to date: Athletic Bilbao (2-0), Atlético Madrid (0-2), Celta (1-1) and Sevilla (1-1).

Former Real Zaragoza striker Borja Bastón, with five of Eibar’s eleven goals, is the man of the moment at the club. And their defensive record is good too. After eight games, goalkeeper Asier Riesgo has only been beaten six times, where reserve keeper Irureta has let in one.

Goalless and pointless against FCB

There is very little history between the two sides that meet this weekend. In their first ever encounter at the Camp Nou last year, Xavi, Neymar Jr and Messi secured a 3-0 win, all three goals coming in the last half hour. That was Neymar’s 50th game in a Barça shirt, and curiously enough, the Brazilian has now just made it to 100. Later last season, Barça’s debut appearance at Ipurua ended in a 2-0 win, with Messi scoring both goals from set pieces.

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