Cádiz CF (6th, 15pts) vs FC Barcelona (7th, 14pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Friday
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 12
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti (out)
Cádiz Outs & Doubts: Luismi Quezada, José Mari, Juan Cala (out), Álvaro Negredo (doubt)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 5, 2020, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Sunday)
Venue: Estádio Ramón de Carranza, Cádiz, Spain
Referee: César Soto Grado
VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a very good win over Ferencváros to remain perfect in Europe in midweek, Barcelona are right back in action in La Liga for what promises to be a tough away trip to the surprise of the season so far, newly promoted Cádiz.
Cádiz exploded out of the gates to start the campaign, winning four away games in a row to find themselves in the Top 3 while the big teams struggled a bit, and that beginning to the season may prove crucial as Cádiz have begun to come back to Earth, with just one win in their last five and just one point in five matches at home.
Cádiz depend on a strong defense and a lightning quick counter-attack to compete in games, and that strategy is a lot easier to accomplish on the road — and against big teams. They’re not on the road this Saturday but they’re facing a very big team, and they have a shot to finally win a game at home if they manage to slow Barça’s attack down enough and take their chances on the break.
But it won’t be easy against a Barça team that’s starting to play some really good stuff. They’re on a three-game winning streak with three clean sheets and 11 goals scored, and that’s without Lionel Messi playing in two of those games. But they haven’t won two straight in La Liga since the start of the season in early October, and that is the biggest goal for Saturday.
Playing well also helps, and this team has done that recently. But it’s about consistency of play and results, and if Ronald Koeman continues to make smart personnel and tactical decisions, we could be seeing the start of a really positive run. Beating Cádiz doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it will be if the performance is once again up to standard.
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Messi, Griezmann, Coutinho; Braithwaite
Cádiz (3-4-3): Ledesma; Fali, Mauro, Alcalá; Iza, Fernández, Jonsson, Espino; Sánchez, Lozano, Izquierdo
I hate being so confident ahead of a Barcelona game, but Cádiz aren’t on fire anymore and Barça are rounding into form: 3-1 to the good guys.