Girona FC (12th, 24pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 46pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 21
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Jeison Murillo, Sergi Samper, Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti, Rafinha (out)
Girona Outs & Doubts: Johan Mojica, Aday Benítez, Patrick Roberts, Carles Planas (out), Borja García (doubt)
Date/Time: Sunday, January 27, 2019, 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am ET, 7.15am PT (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)
Venue: Estadi Municipal de Montilivi, Girona, Spain
Referee: Pablo González Fuertes
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others
Following a depressing loss away to Sevilla in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, Barcelona return to league action with another very tough away game when they face fellow Catalan rivals Girona at the Montilivi Stadium. If you look at Girona’s record and see their last league win was two months ago, you’d think this is an easy game. It’s anything but.
Girona are really good at home, and they always play Barça well. They’re quick on the wings and have a strong defensive structure thanks to a back three they’re familiar with and have used since joining La Liga. Christian Stuani is back after missing the last game through suspension, and the Uruguayan is the team’s superstar. He’s scored over half their goals this season and is the third-best goalscorer in the league, and he’ll cause plenty of problems for the Barça backline.
Having Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets back will certainly help the team since the two were rested for the loss in Seville, and Barça have won seven games in a row in the league. They’ll look to stay five points clear at the top, and they’ll need a very good team performance to do so.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Girona (3-4-3): Bono; Bernardo, Juanpe, Alcalá; Pedro Porro, Aleix García, Pere Pons, Valery; Portu, Stuani, Borja García
This will be extremely tough, but we’ll do the job: 3-1 Barça.