Wednesday 8th April 2015, Camp Nou. Live on Sky Sports 5. Kick-off 7:00pm.
Barcelona could tighten their grip on La Liga’s top spot when they entertain relegation-threatened Almeria in Wednesday’s 7pm start.
League leaders Barca are four points clear of their nearest rivals with only nine games left of the campaign and come into the midweek fixture having won 19 of their last 20 games in all competitions.
Last time out they were largely frustrated by a well-organised Celta Vigo but a marvelous 73rd-minute Jeremy Mathieu diving header was enough to secure the 1-0 win.
Almeria travel to Catalonia having not registered a win in their last seven outings, form that sees them occupy the final relegation place. Last time out they were convincingly beaten 4-1 by fellow relegation-threatened Levante after being overcome 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao before the international break.
La Unión are one point and a place short of Deportivo La Coruna and safety with only six wins to their name from 29 La Liga fixtures, and they are have only avoided defeat twice in 14 competitive matches against Barcelona.
The game was given a higher importance on Monday when the Andalusian side appointed Sergi Barjuan as their new manager. The 43-year-old made over 250 appearances for Barcelona between 1993 and 2002 while also appearing at two World Cup campaigns and two European Championships with Spain.
Luis Enrique’s Barca won the reverse fixture 2-1 at Juegos Mediterraneos as late strikes from Neymar and Jordi Alba overturned Almeria’s early lead delivered by Thievy.
In team news, Jordi Alba is still recovering from a thigh injured picked up on international duty and is a doubt for the game. Almeria are likely to be without Verza, Fran Velez and Michel, while Sebastian Durbarbier and Mauro dos Santos are both suspended.
As expected, Barcelona are heavy favourites with BetBright offer the bets odds of 1/16 for a home win.
A bet with slightly more value is Barca to win and keep a clean sheet, Bet365 are offering odds of 4/6. Enrique’s outfit have conceded just one from their last four outings in all competitions while La Unión have hit the net only twice in six games.
Barcelona to win to nil 4/6 (Bet365)