Las Palmas – FC Barcelona (La Liga)
Las Palmas host FC Barcelona this Sunday night at Estadio Gran Canaria, in Las Palmas, for the 37th round of La Liga. The home team have been showing a mediocre form, wining only one of their last eight consecutive league games, but their home form continues to be fairly strong, considering their league position. FC Barcelona, on their turn, are obliged to win in order to keep leading the tittle race, and with Real Madrid having a tough game this weekend, the Blaugrana will aim for a strong victory here, with hope that the Merengues lose points.
Las Palmas are 14th placed in La Liga table with 39 points, result of 10 victories, 9 draws and 17 defeats, with 52 goals scored and 67 goals conceded. This turned out to be a really disappointing season for Las Palmas, who in the opening rounds of the league added up some points and made it to the top of the table, and were fighting for european spots in the first round of La Liga. However, in the second round of the league, since the beginning of January, Los Amarillos suffered a dropdown in their performance and have been in descending in the league table since then, arriving here with only 1 victory in their last 8 consecutive matches, and once they already have maintenance secured, they are here only because they have to.
However, Quique Setién’s men have a good home form, winning 3 of their last 5 home games, losing only 1, scoring 11 goals and conceding 9 in the process. This is one of the teams that concedes more goals in the spanish league, a consequence of their huge defensive disorganization, but they are offensively strong, especially in counterattacks. This is their last home game of the season, so Los Amarillos will try to avoid another defeat in front of their supporters.
In their last 5 official games, Las Palmas has drew 1 and lost the remaining 4. This sequence of results started with a 5-1 defeat at Athletic Bilbao’s home. This result was followed by a 1-1 home draw against Alavés, a 3-0 defeat at Leganés home, a 0-5 home defeat at the hands of Atlético Madrid, and in their last clash, a 1-0 defeat at Sporting Gijón’s home. Castellano, injured, and Liveja, suspended, are both out.
Probalbe Lineup: Varas – Macedo, Bigas, Lemos and Lopes – Gomez, Mesa and Viera – Tana, Boateng and Jesé.
FC Barcelona, on their turn, are 1st placed in La Liga table with the same 84 points than Real Madrid, result of 26 victories, 6 draws and 4 defeats, with 108 goals scored and 34 goals conceded. After being eliminated from the Champions League quarter-finals, by Juventus, Barcelona could turn all their attention in putting pressure on Real Madrid for the title race, but with the Merengues still having one game behind schedule, the Blaugrana need to win their last two league matches and are hoping for a Real Madrid slip up. Barça are in an immense form at the moment and won their last 5 league matches, where they scored 20 goals and conceded 6 in the process.
Luis Enrique’s men lost 2 of their last 5 away league matches, against Deportivo and Málaga, but won the 3 remaining, and scored 11 goals, conceding 7 in the process. The truth is that the catalan defensive organization hasn’t been as good as the last season, since they have been conceding goals with regularity, but their enormous offensive power has making up to their lack of defensive organization. The catalans have one of the most powerful offensive trident in the world, and are the team who scores most goals in the main 5 european leagues, with players like Messi, Neymar and Suárez being elemental pieces for the team, all capable of making the difference at any momento.
In their last 5 official games, Barcelona has won 4 and drew 1. This sequence of results started with a 0-0 home draw against Juventus, for the Champions League. This result was followed by a 2-3 victory at Real Madrid’s home, a 7-1 home victory over Osasuna, a 0-3 victory at Espanyol’s home, and in their last clash, a 4-1 home victory over Villarreal. Sergi Roberto, suspended, Aleix Vidal and Rafinha, injured, are all out for this tie.
Probable Lineup: Stegen – Mascherano, Piqué, Umtiti and Alba – Rakitic, Busquets and Iniesta – Messi, Suárez and Neymar.
Barcelona has won all the 3 direct confronts of the last 15 years.,
Liga Espanhola 16/17
Liga BBVA 15/16
Liga BBVA 15/16
Expect this to be an intense game between two teams with good offensive strengths, with several chances at both ends of the pitch, and with Barcelona being able to easily overcome the defensive difficulties of Las Palmas.