Cádiz CF (14th, 5pts) vs FC Barcelona (8th, 8pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Wednesday
Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 6
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Pedri, Jordi Alba, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembélé, Sergio Agüero, Martin Braithwaite, Alejandro Balde (out)
Cádiz Outs & Doubts: Jon Ander Garrido, José Mari (out)
Date/Time: Thursday, September 23, 2021, 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Friday)
Venue: Estadio Nueva Mirandilla, Cádiz, Spain
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), TSN 5 (Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), MTV (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
Following a depressing draw at home against Granada and two days of tension behind the scenes, Barcelona return to action in La Liga looking for some positivity as they travel to beautiful Andalusia to face Cádiz at the Nueva Mirandilla Stadium.
If the awful performance on Monday wasn’t enough, the following 72 hours have been somehow worse: Ronald Koeman is blaming his players for the bad football, Joan Laporta is promising the fans that he’ll sack Koeman without saying it, and Koeman gave one of the most bizarre press conferences you will ever see on Wednesday.
Everything is an absolute mess, and it’s hard to focus on the actual football on the pitch right now. Koeman knows he’s pretty much done, the players must be in a state of total confusion about what will happen next, and Real Madrid look absolutely unstoppable and are currently 8 points above Barça in the table.
Competing of the title was never a realistic possibility for the Catalans, but they might be out of it before we reach October if they continue to drop points. Barça do have a game in hand on their rivals but that’s against Sevilla, which is no guarantee of three points. Picking up results to try and stay at least around the top is huge, and beating a tough Cádiz team on the road won’t be easy but must be done.
Koeman might manage his last game for Barça on Thursday, and he’ll do it once again with a thin squad with very few options in attack. But the team can still play better than they have in the last two games, but maybe that is asking too much when the manager seems to be living in his own world where everything is fine and nothing is his fault.
Tough times. But we gotta keep dancing.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Piqué, Dest; Roberto, Busquets, De Jong; Demir, Memphis, Coutinho
Cádiz (4-4-2): Ledesma; Carcelén, Haroyan, Fali, Espino; Sánchez, Jonsson, Alarcon, Arzamendia; Negredo, Sobrino
Koeman doesn’t care anymore and he won’t mind ugly football as long as it results in a win, and the worst part is that I think the plan works this time: 3-1 Barça.