2019-01-12 by W.M.
Barcelona vs. Eibar: Odds, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info | Bleacher Report
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Barcelona host Eibar at the Camp Nou in La Liga on Sunday, knowing a win will maintain a healthy lead over Atletico Madrid in the title race.
Atleti are in action earlier in the day, hosting Levante. A win would put the side from the Spanish capital just two points adrift of the Blaugrana.
Barca actually enter the game off the back of a loss after Levante won 2-1 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 on Thursday. Lionel Messi was one of many big-name stars who were rested by the league leaders.
With Messi coming back, the Blaugrana can feel confident about making home advantage count against Eibar. Messi and Luis Suarez are in standout form and will make the difference.
Date: Sunday, January 13
Time: 5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET
TV Info: Eleven Sports 1 UK/beIN Sports
Where to Watch: World football matches and related coverage are available through fuboTV
Odds (Per OddsShark)
- Barcelona: 100-699
- Eibar: 16-1
- Draw: 8-1
Suarez enters the game full of confidence after he scored a terrific volley during the narrow 2-1 win away to Getafe last time out:
While Uruguay international No. 9 Suarez remains capable of the spectacular, Messi is still the player who makes Barca tick in the final third. The diminutive maestro is the chief creative source for Ernesto Valverde’s team:
No player in Europe has more assists than Lionel Messi. 🔝🎁
Messi’s value was underlined when his influence was sorely missed during cup action in midweek. Even so, it would help if another player shared the burden for creating chances.
Former Liverpool schemer Philippe Coutinho is the obvious candidate. The problem is the 26-year-old has struggled to settle since returning to the Spanish top flight from Liverpool back in January.
Valverde warned Coutinho he must “fight” for his place, per Goal’s Matt Dorman. The reminder came after Coutinho floundered in Levante but he has the technique and shooting power to turn any match in Barca’s favour.
Barcelona need to win the midfield battle because Eibar have some underrated quality. Fabian Orellana and Pedro Leon both possess the skill to unlock Barca’s defence.
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Leon and Orellana can keep the supply lines open to useful strikers Charles and Sergi Enrich.
Eibar have the talent to catch the hosts cold early on, but Barca’s marquee talent up top will soon prove decisive.