Barcelona – Athletic Club: Barcelona Battle To Victory (2-1)
Barcelona came into this game looking to gain revenge for losing in the Supercup two weeks ago. And while the attack in the final third did not match their clever buildup shape, they were able to look to the star studded names on the team sheet to make the crucial difference.
Tactical analysis and match report by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.
Barcelona continue to project themselves up the table. A fourth straight LaLiga win left the home team sitting in the top four coming into this weekend. But off the back of Real Madrid’s 2-1 loss to Levante, Ronald Koeman's men could now jump into second if they took the three points in this clash.
Athletic Club have looked resurgent in the new year. Winning five of their six games so far in 2021, they have excelled in the cups, scalping the home team with a 3-2 win in the final of the Supercup. They now looked to repeat the feat and avenge the narrow 3-2 loss in LaLiga earlier this month.
Koeman set up the hosts in a 4-3-3 formation. He then made two changes to the team that beat Elche in their last league game. Frenkie de Jong began the match as the six, leaving Miralem Pjanić a role to fill ahead of him. Lionel Messi also came back to the fold after suspension to start through the middle.
Marcelino lined up the away team in a 4-4-2 shape. Though his side routed Getafe 5-1 last weekend, the manager also opted to make two changes to his . . .