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La Liga: Barca Brace For Top-vs-Bottom Clash


La Liga: Barca Brace For Top-vs-Bottom Clash

Huesca vs Barcelona

Barcelona are closing in on yet another La Liga title. After their victory over second-placed Atletico Madrid last weekend, they are now 11 points clear at the top with just seven matches left.

Barca can now take another big step toward the Spanish crown when they face Huesca, who look destined for the drop. However, they will likely have to do so without Lionel Messi in tow.

But even without their talisman, Barca’s La Liga 2019 betting odds to win this match against the league’s bottom club should be quite substantial.

Talking Points

Huesca still fighting

Barring any unexpected miracle, Huesca’s stay in La Liga looks set to come to an end after just one season. Huesca, who gained promotion to the Spanish top flight for the first time in their history, currently sit at the bottom of the table with 24 points, six points from safety with just seven matches remaining.

Their recent form remains pretty abject. They’ve picked up just one win over their last eight outings, with four defeats and three draws. No wonder they’re going back down.

Although, they have been putting up a fight in recent weeks, albeit against fellow bottom-dwelling clubs. Their last two results have seen them battle to high-scoring draws against Celta Vigo (3-3) and Levante (2-2).

And in the match before that, they nearly took a point from Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. It was all tied up until the 89th minute when Karim Benzema came up with a goal to give Madrid the 3-2 win.

Huesca’s top scorer, Ezequiel Avila, has found his touch in front of goal late in the season. The Argentine midfielder has scored seven of his eight goals over the last 10 games.

Huesca will be hoping that a significantly altered Barca backline will allow some big opportunities. But it will still be on the hosts to capitalise on those chances if/when they come.

Changes coming for Barca

Barcelona just continue to rack up the victories. Their 1-0 win in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Manchester United was their ninth in their last 10 games in all competitions.

Their lone stumble during that time was their 4-4 draw against Villarreal, which was one of the more remarkable La Liga 2019 results of the season. Lionel Messi didn’t start that match, but he came on as a second-half substitute to help Barca make an incredible comeback.

Barca will once again have to make do without Messi in the starting XI against Huesca, though. He is reportedly set to sit out after he suffered a bloodied face at the hands of Manchester United’s Chris Smalling.

The injury doesn’t sound too serious, though. Sitting him out appears to be more of a precaution by manager Ernesto Valverde in order to get Messi as ready as possible ahead of the second leg against United.

With Messi likely out, Malcom may once again get the start in the Argentine’s place. The young Brazilian had a goal and an assist in his last start against Villarreal.

Some of Barca’s other key veteran players — namely defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Sergio Busquets — will likely get the weekend off as well with the Champions League in mind.

But even with all those likely absentees, there’s still just too much depth and quality in the Barca squad — more than enough to take care of business against the bottom club in the league.

History

Since this is Huesca’s very first season in the top flight, they have not had to face Barca too often. Prior to their first meeting this season back in September, they met in the Copa del Rey back in 2014.

Unsurprisingly, Barca won all three matches in quite emphatic fashion. Their trip to the Estadio El Alcoraz in 2014 resulted in a 4-0 win. And in the return leg at the Camp Nou, Barca romped to an 8-1 demolition.

And as fate would have it, Barca fired another eight goals past Huesca this season as they strolled to an 8-2 win. Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged a brace to lead the Catalans to the dominant victory.

Betting Tip

Half Time Full Time Away-Away @ 2.46

Despite Messi’s absence, Barca should once again ease to a comfortable victory against Huesca. In the Asian handicap market, Barcelona -1 is priced at 2.16, which seems like a very good bet.

But perhaps the more appealing bet is for Barcelona to be leading at half-time and full-time; SBOBET odds have that bet priced at 2.41.

With the likes of Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, and Malcom around, Barca should have more than enough firepower to make that bet payout.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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