Almeria vs Barcelona: Preview and Prediction

Relegated Almeria will look for an upset when they host second-placed Barcelona at the Power Horse Stadium on Thursday.

Barcelona will hit the road to square up against the bottom-placed Almeria in search of their 24th win of the season. Both teams are on opposite ends of the table, and they have had completely contrasting seasons.

Almeria have only accumulated 17 points in their 35 outings, and they have tasted victory just twice throughout the campaign. It has been a horror campaign for them, and they will return to the second division, having been relegated from La Liga.

After securing the second win of their season against Rayo Vallecano, they ended up suffering yet another defeat in their last outing against Real Betis. The final result might not have gone their way. But they did put up a great fight in their 3-2 loss and will be hoping for something similar against Barcelona.

The objective for Barcelona was to retain the league title. But unfortunately, they were not really consistent enough, which is why they have failed to get the job done. The Blaugrana are currently second on the points table with 76 points in their 35 outings. Xavi Hernandez’s men are just a point ahead of third-placed Girona, but they do have a game in hand.

The visitors have lost two out of their last four league games but are heading into this one on the back of a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad. It was a dominant display by the outgoing La Liga champions, and they will be quite confident about getting the job done against a relegated outfit. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics


The visitors will be without Largie Ramazani, who is currently on a five-match ban. Iddrisu Baba’s availability is a doubt, while Aleksandar Radovanovic should be back in the squad having resumed training following an injury break.

Cesar Montes is back in the mix after missing out on their last outing because of suspension. The home team will go ahead with the 4-2-3-1 formation, where Luis Maximiano will be in goal.

Marc Pubill and Bruno Langa will be the full-backs, while Cesar Montes and Chumi will feature in the heart of the defence. The back four will look for a clean sheet and they will have the support of Edgar Gonzalez and Lucas Robertone who will start as the double pivot in the centre of the park.

The duo will look to ensure Barcelona do not end up dictating the proceedings. Meanwhile, Luka Romero and Adrian Embarba will feature on the flanks. They will provide width to their attacks, while Jonathan Viera will feature as the attacking midfielder. Finally, Anthony Lozano will lead the line for Almeria against Barcelona.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maximiano; Pubill, Montes, Chumi, Langa; Edgar, Robertone; Romero, Viera, Embarba; Lozano

Almeria vs Barcelona Predicted XI


Xavi Hernandez will be without the services of long-term absentees Gavi, Alejandro Balde, and Frenkie de Jong. While Balde is back on the grass, there is still a lot of time left for him to complete his recovery.

Ilkay Gundogan is suspended for this fixture, while Ronald Araujo is a doubt after a fitness issue kept him out from their last outing. The visitors will line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will continue as the full-backs, while Pau Cubarsi should pair up with Inigo Martínez in the heart of the defence.

Andreas Christensen should continue as the defensive midfielder. With Gundogan unavailable, Fermin Lopez is expected to start alongside Pedri. The midfield trio will look to control the tempo and ensure they have the majority of the ball. Lamine Yamal and Raphinha will feature on the flanks, while star striker Robert Lewandowski will be spearhead the Barcelona attacker.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Cubarsi, Martinez, Cancelo; Pedri, Christensen, Fermin; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Almeria vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Barcelona have won eight of their last nine league games against Almeria.
  • The visitors won the reverse fixture 3-2.
  • Almeria have not won at home this season but having defeated Barcelona 1-0 in their backyard last season, they will be confident about their chances.
  • Barcelona have the third-best attack in the division while Almeria have the worst defensive record.
  • Almeria’s relegation was certain following their 3-1 defeat to Getafe last month.

Player to Watch

Robert Lewandowski

Embed from Getty Images

Lewandowski has scored 17 league goals this term, and he is three behind the league’s top scorer Artem Dovbyk. With three games to go, the Polish international will be aiming to reach the top of the scoring charts. While he did go through a rough patch midway through the season, the former Bayern Munich striker is back at his best, and Xavi will hope he helps them seal a top-two finish.


Almeria 0-3 Barcelona

While Almeria picked up a rare win recently, they have not won even once at this home this season, and that is unlikely to change here given the quality of the opposition. Barcelona might have been a bit inconsistent in the recent past having lost two of their last four league games but they are still favourites for this fixture. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-0 win for the visitors.

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