Elche vs Barcelona: line-ups, score predictions, head-to-head record & more — preview

 Elche vs Barcelona: line-ups, score predictions, head-to-head record & more — preview

Barca will have to cope without Messi.

Team news

Elche

Elche will miss Luismi, Dani Calvo, Omenuke Mfulu, Guido Carrillo and Fidel through injury.

Barcelona

Barcelona won't be able to count on Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati due to injury.

Leo Messi is suspended as he received a two-match ban after the incident in the Supercup final.

Key stats

Barcelona and Elche met in this seasons' Joan Gamper Trophy, with the Catalans winning 1-0.

When it comes to official fixtures, the Catalans are unbeaten in the last six duels, having recorded five wins and a draw, while also scoring 22 goals and conceding 0.

The home side is on a bad run of form as they haven't registered a single win in their last 12 La Liga matches. (h/t WhoScored)

Possible line-ups

Elche vs Barcelona: line-ups, score predictions, head-to-head record & more — preview

Barca XI: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri; Dembele, Braithwaite, Griezmann.

Elche XI: Badia; Verdu, Gonzalez, Josema; Barragan, Marcone, Guti, Mojica; Rigoni, Boye, Josan. (h/t SportsMole)

Managers' quotes

Ronald Koeman (Barcelona): "We come from three games in which we've played 120 minutes. This will be our seventh consecutive game away from home, and we need to get players back. We need freshness. We have to prepare for the game and line up a team with spark and a strong mentality."

Jorge Almiron (Elche): "Against Barcelona, we will try to play the same way we did against Real Madrid. We must stay very attentive and be intelligent throughout the game, be very concentrated because they are decisive, but they also leave spaces that we can take advantage of.

"We would've liked Messi to play just for the pleasure of seeing him on the pitch, but that won't be the case. Leo not playing changes a lot because he is indecipherable, although they have a great team. It will be difficult, but not impossible."

Predictions

SportsMole's Matt Law: Elche 1-2 Barcelona

"Elche are certainly capable of making it difficult for a Barca side that have struggled to show consistency this season. Messi's absence is a huge boost for the home team, but we are expecting the Catalan giants to collect all three points courtesy of a narrow success."

WhoScored's Simon Harrison: Elche 1-2 Barcelona

"Elche last won in La Liga on October 23rd, with their two victories since coming in the domestic cup. The hosts have taken two points from their last nine at home, drawing with Real Madrid and Osasuna respectively. Barcelona got back to winning ways after their Supercopa defeat with a 2-0 cup win over Cornella midweek."

Buk's Henry Njoku: Elche 1-1 Barcelona

" Barcelona is currently underrated coupled with their poor away form so i think Barcelona will find it hard to beat struggling Elche side ''

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