Barcelona picked up another three points at the weekend but it was their most hard-fought victory of the season as they came from behind to win 2-1 at newly promoted Getafe. An injury to record signing Ousmane Dembele, who could be out until the new year, was another significant blow and it’ll be interesting to see how Ernesto Valverde approaches this with some rotation likely, given the number of games they have coming up.
It’s worth noting though that Eibar may also consider a few changes in an attempt to keep players fresh for a home game against Celta Vigo at the weekend, where they have a far greater chance of collecting points. They are yet to avoid defeat against Barcelona since winning promotion to the top flight in 2014 so it’s more in hope than expectation that they head to the Catalan capital.
They’ve recorded two wins and two defeats so far this season but were pretty comprehensively beaten 3-0 in their toughest fixture, away to Sevilla. That doesn’t bode well for them as far as this game is concerned but they can take heart from having led to 2-0 with an hour on the clock during their visit to Camp Nou in May.
Barcelona came roaring back to win 4-2 that day and they showed a fair deal of fighting spirit to win at Getafe. Encouragingly it was two substitutes that got the goals, with Denis Suarez and Paulinho netting to ease fears about a lack of strength in depth. The Brazilian could be in line for a start here with some rotation likely in midfield and backing Paulinho to score anytime at 15/8 could be worth a punt, given he’s been a pretty consistent scorer for club and country since leaving Spurs in 2015.
The loss of Dembele is a blow but with Messi and Luis Suarez fit, they still have a destructive front-line and they have scored 8 times in their last 2 home matches, against stronger opponents than Eibar. Given they still have a 100% home record in La Liga in 2017, backing Barcelona to Win & Over 2.5 Goals at 4/11 looks like a very safe bet here.