Barcelona vs Girona FC: Match Preview

Barcelona vs Girona FC: Match Preview

Up next for FC Barcelona in La Liga Santander is a short trip within Catalonia to face local rivals Girona in the Catalan derby. La Blaugrana make this trip hoping to come out of this fixture to end January in high spirits following a series of successful clashes this month.

Barca v Girona: Match Details

Date: Saturday, 28th January 2023

Competition: La Liga Santander

Matchday: 18

Venue: Municipal de Montilivi

Time: 04:15 pm Central European Time

Barca v Girona: Match Overview

Following a crucial yet marginal victory against Real Sociedad in the Copa Del Ray quarter-finals, FC Barcelona come into this game off the back of one of their strongest performances this season despite the score-line suggesting otherwise. La Blaugrana also sit atop the La Liga Santander table, with their upcoming opponents in question being the 11th-placed Catalan outfit Girona.

Barcelona find themselves to be in top form at the moment, having 4 wins and 1 draw out of their last 5 league outings, moreover, they also have faced two top teams in their last two cup outings against both Real Sociedad and Real Madrid, having won both games with a string of great performances. Xavi’s men have scored 12 goals over their last 5 competitive games while having conceded just 3 goals in total.

Their neighboring opponents Girona have somewhat been struggling, however, having 2 wins, as many draws, and a loss just recently to Villarreal in the league. Overall, they have only 1 win in their last 5 overall competitive games, suffering 2 defeats and having 2 draws alongside that singular win. They have managed to score 7 goals in the previous 5 games while having conceded 8 in the same amount of games.

Barcelona have thus far accumulated 44 points from the 17 games that they have played, and currently lead the race for La Liga by being 3 points above El Clasico rivals Real Madrid. Girona on the other hand subtly sit mid-table, being 11th in terms of standings, while having amassed a total of 21 points from 18 matches thus far.

For La Blaugrana, this match represents a chance to keep their lead in the league alive, and given how close the gap is from Real Madrid it makes every single game a vital hurdle to overcome.

In terms of the potential playing eleven however, reports emerging from Spain indicate that there might be a substantial rotation taking place within Xavi’s choice of players to field against Girona. The reasonings vary from there being absentees due to suspension as well as needing to rest key players for games coming up ahead as well.

Barca v Girona: Potential Lineup

Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter-Stegen

In terrific form right now, it is expected that Ter Stegen will be the one to take charge between the sticks for the Catalans. The German International has been key in saving points and entire matches alike for Barcelona this season.

Left-back: Jordi Alba

Possibly now the 2nd choice left-back after the young Alejandro Balde, Alba may look at this game as a good opportunity to find his own best form again and possibly increase competition for Balde in that specific position, pushing both players onwards simultaneously.

Centre-back: Ronald Araujo

Rested against Getafe but played against Real Sociedad, Araujo should easily be fit enough to play this 2nd outing in a row. The Uruguayan is fundamental to Barcelona’s defensive integrity and ensures quality while instilling confidence throughout the entire team.

Centre-back: Eric Garcia

Given that Xavi may consider giving both Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde a rest for this upcoming game, it seems like a good chance for the young Eric Garcia to be given a starting spot.

Right-back: Sergi Roberto

The Barcelona captain may also be told to represent the Blaugrana in this Catalan derby, replacing Jules Kounde at right back and deputizing the defence from there.

CDM: Frenkie De Jong

Frenkie De Jong may just be deployed as the pivot in this game if Xavi ends up deciding to rest Sergio Busquets. The Dutchman has been deployed in that position before and has done relatively well there as an alternative pivot.

CM: Franck Kessie

The ex-AC Milan player has been out of favor from time to time during this season in terms of selection. However, as Pedri just recently survived an injury scare in the previous outing against Real Sociedad, it may be likely that the young Spaniard is rested and the Ivorian midfielder is deployed in his stead.

CM: Gavi

The La Masia jewel has been in fine form throughout this season and continues to perform at a level not expected from those in his age group. The youngster might be sure to start this game and will undoubtedly be crucial to Xavi’s plan of attack.

Left-winger: Ousmane Dembele

Scored a stunning goal against Real Sociedad that decided the winner of their Copa Del Ray clash in Barcelona’s last fixture. The Frenchman is playing at his very best and will be hoping to take that form into the latter half of the season as well.

Centre-forward: Ansu Fati

The young number 10 is still not able to hit the ground running as he would have hoped to. Despite that, there remain suspensions to both Ferran Torres and Robert Lewandowski, so with both main Centre-forwards out of the equation, it leaves Ansu Fati as the only alternative to that central role.

Right-winger: Raphinha

Slowly gaining momentum, the Brazilian is finally hitting his stride. Scoring goals while simultaneously creating chances for the Catalans, the former Leeds United man is slowly but surely becoming more and more of a threat for the oppositions to deal with.

Barca v Girona: Expected Lineup

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen

Defenders: Alba, Garcia, Araujo, Roberto

Midfielders: De Jong, Kessie, Gavi

Forwards: Dembele, Fati, Raphinha

Barcelona vs Girona: Expected Line up
Barcelona vs Girona: Expected Line-up

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