Tomorrow night will mark the end of the Spanish La Liga 2016/2017 season. While other major leagues have already crowned a winner, long time rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid keep fighting until the final whistle.
Real Madrid are favourites to clinch the title but a subpar performance against Málaga can cost them dearly. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi and co will have to triumph against Eibar should they want to keep the La Liga dream alive until the very end.
Luis Enrique is set to bid an emotional farewell to Nou Camp in what will eventually be his final La Liga game with the club.
- FC Barcelona have never lost nor drawn against SD Eibar (W5 L0), scoring 16 goals and conceding only 1
- Tributes to Luis Enrique are planned before the game.
- A victory for Eibar places them 8th, a new club record.
- Eibar have lost their last 2 games while Barcelona have won their last 6 in the Spanish League
- Lionel Messi is the top-scorer this season in the major European leagues alongside Edinson Cavani (35 goals)
Both teams won’t have their full arsenal ready for Sunday’s clash. Luis Enrique can’t count on Rafinha who is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered against Granada. French defender Jeremy Mathieu and Mascherano will both miss the match against Eibar.
Another marquee defender who’s doubtful is Gerard Piqué. Piqué has been dealing with an illness that forced him to go to the hospital. Although he’s in a better state, his appearance on the pitch tomorrow is still not confirmed.
Aleix Vidal suffered a dislocated ankle against Alaves back in February. The 27-year is expected to return at some point next season.
There is some good news for the Catalan Giants. Luis Enrique can count on Sergi Roberto who returns from suspension. Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba were also just one booking away from a suspension, but both escaped punishment against Las Palmas and can feature versus Eibar.
Things are looking better for Eibar who have only 3 players sidelined. Mendilibar will travel to Camp Nou without Fran Rico, Antonio Luna and Nano.
FC Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen, Alba, Piqué, Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Rakitić, Busquets, Iniesta, Neymar, Suárez, Messi.
SD Eibar (4-2-3-1): Riesgo, Capa, Gálvez, Lejeune, Juncà, Escalante, García, León, González, Inui, Enrich.
FC Barcelona 4-0 SD Eibar
With everything to play for and nothing to lose, Luis Enrique will most likely come out with his strongest XI. Expect high pressure from the first whistle and tons of chances. Taking into consideration Eibar’s bad form and Barcelona’s need to score, an (early) goal is almost guaranteed. Luis Enrique needs his team to kill the game early-on so he can rest some of the players. FC Barcelona will have to play another final only 6 days away from Sunday’s game.
Although beating FC Barcelona in the Nou Camp is a honorable feat, Eibar are safe from relegation and a place in the UEFA cup is out of the question. If they can fend off Barcelona’s attacks, the viewers can be treated for a surprise.
For FC Barcelona to clinch the title, they have to win this game and hope that Real Madrid loses against Malága.