As per usual, FC Barcelona enter tonight's La Liga match as favourites, although as we have long since established, this evening's clash against SD Eibar promises to be any but straight-forward. The scrappy visitors from the Basque Country boast one of the best away records in the division, and are renowned for starting strongly -- if the La Liga table was judged on the first 45 minutes of action, SD EIbar would be second with 20 points, just one behind leaders, Real Madrid.
So, in other words, we're facing a team that starts games nearly as well as Real Madrid. Oh. Goody.
Thankfully, Barcelona's home advantage at the Camp Nou should help to even the score; in their four home matches this season in La Liga, Barcelona can boast a 100% record, and just last weekend they eviscerated Rayo Vallecano with a strong performance in front of a partisan crowd. The star on that night was undoubtedly Neymar, who turned in arguably the greatest performance of his young Barcelona career to grab four goals and an assist in our eventual 5-2 win.
A repeat of that showing would be more than welcome, albeit somewhat unlikely. Neymar will still likely lead the team with his performance in Messi's absence, but we will be hoping for more contributions from the likes of Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and perhaps even the returning Andres Iniesta. Let's face it, we need all the help we can get tonight.
Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!