FC Barcelona (2nd, 31pts) vs UD Almería (14th, 13pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2022-23 La Liga, Matchday 13
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Sergi Roberto, Franck Kessie, Memphis Depay (out)
Almería Outs & Doubts: Iván Martos, Juanjo Nieto (out), Carlos Rojas, Marko Milovanovic (doubt)
Date/Time: Saturday, November 5, 2022, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Sunday)
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Pablo González Fuertes
VAR: Santiago Jaime Latre
How to watch on TV: ESPN Deportes (USA), Not Available (Canada, Spain), Viaplay Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Sports18 (India), others
Following a fun win over Viktoria Plzen in their Champions League finale, Barcelona return to action in La Liga for their final home game before the break for the World Cup as they welcome Almería to the Greatest Stadium on Earth on Saturday Night Fútbol.
Under normal circumstances this would be just a run-of-the-mill game as a Barça look to keep pace with Real Madrid in the title race. Barça will go top of the table for at least a couple of days with a win or a draw in this one, and three points are crucial to continue the good run of results outside of European competition.
But this isn’t a normal game: Saturday’s clash has taken a special meaning thanks to the announcement that Gerard Piqué is retiring from football after Tuesday’s game away to Osasuna, which means that the match against Almería will be Piqué’s farewell at Camp Nou.
The stadium will be packed and the crowd will show their gratitude to a true club legend and one of the very best defenders in the history of Barça and the game, and although he didn’t confirm it in his pre-match press conference Xavi Hernández is expected to give Geri a start and the captain’s armband so he can say a proper goodbye to the fanbase.
Almería will no doubt look to spoil the party and have enough firepower on the counter to cause problems, but they have the fifth-worst defense in the division and might not be able to put up a real fight against a Barça side that had their top players rested in midweek and will be hungry for a win on Pique’s farewell.
This will be a special night. Camp Nou will say goodbye to a legend, and we’ll probably watch a fun game with loads of goals and a big win for the home side.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Balde, Piqué, Eric, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Ferran
Almería (3-5-2): Martínez; Ely, Babic, Kaiky; Pozo, Robertone, Melero, De La Hoz, Akieme; Ramazani, Touré
Barça’s best players are rested and Almería’s defense has been very poor lately. Expect a great atmosphere on Piqué’s home farewell, and a happy night for Barça fans: 4-0 to the good guys.