Wilde during the game at the Palau (9-0) / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

Barça Alusport starts off 2012 with an uncomfortable match. Azkar Lugo, a team fighting to avoid relegation, will host FC Barcelona Alusport. Barça, on the other hand, is looking to maintain the dream-like form exhibited throughout 2011. Carmona’s men will face the struggling Northerners nine days after knocking Sala 10 Zaragoza out of the King’s Cup in the last-16 round. It’s also the last game before the international break due to the European Championship in Croatia, which will take place at the end of this month.

Fernandao, out; Igor, fit

The team led by Carmona will travel to Lugo with two major changes in regards to Barça Alusport’s previous lineups. The first, is the welcome return of Igor to the squad. The Azulgrana player was injured on October 16 and has missed the team’s last 13 matches. The second, however, is the bad news that Fernandao has been ruled out due to a calf injury.

The challenge: winning away from the Palau

Barça Alusport’s challenge, despite completely demolishing Azkar Lugo at home this September (9-0), is to return to their winning ways on the road in 2012. The Catalans, who have won their last two away matches in the Cup -against Centelles and Sala 10 Zaragoza, respectively- were only capable of drawing against Caja Segovia in their last away League match (3-3). This match day, however, the Segovians receive El Pozo Murcia, the team that is level with Barça at the top of the League table.

The Gallegan court has historically been difficult for Barça Alusport. In fact, the Azulgranas have only won one out of seven games against Azkar Lugo away from Barcelona. Barça’s solo victory came last season, the scoreline: 2-5. In total, the teams have tied four times and Azkar Lugo has come away victorious twice.

This season, however, Azkar Lugo is going through a rough patch in the League: they sit in the 14th spot of the League table and they have only won one out of eight home games. Currently, they have won more games on the road (two) than at home.

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