After eight matches at the Camp Nou in La Liga this season, FC Barcelona have scored an incredible 27 goals and conceded just six to create a formidable 100% record on home turf. Few clubs can compete with that kind of dominance, and to kick off 2014, Elche CF have the unenviable task of trying to stop the Blaugrana juggernaut from steam-rolling their defense as they hope to become the first side in over 14 months to escape the Camp Nou with a share of the points.
On paper, they shouldn't stand much of a chance. Their away form is mediocre at very best; with just two wins in eight matches on their travels, Elche have struggled to pick up wins away from home, but they have proven to be a tough nut to crack -- Elche have lost just three of their eight away fixtures this season. Not only that, but Elche have also conceded the same number of goals on their travels as Real Madrid -- admittedly that might not be such an encouraging sign for Fran Escriba's side as Los Blancos slumped to a 2-1 loss on their trip to Catalunya a few months ago.
Fortunately, or mercifully depending on which way you look at it, Barcelona have not named Lionel Messi to the squad for this afternoon's match, but in Neymar, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas and Cristian Tello, it's safe to say that the Blaugrana still possess enough firepower to run away with this game. Will Barcelona register a win in their first match of 2014? Predict the score of this afternoon's match by commenting with your predictions below. Best of luck!
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