Forward Luis Suarez has been ruled out of action for a minimum of six weeks as the former Ajax player underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. According to reports, Barcelona forced him to go under the knife to avoid aggravating the injury. Though, the 32-year-old could miss the Copa America.
Barcelona also confirmed that goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is carrying a knee injury and will be missing the game against Eibar. Dutch goalie Jasper Cillessen will be between the posts for the champions.
In addition, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele along with long-term absentee Rafinha will be watching the match from the treatment room.
Brazilian midfielder Arthur has been left out of the squad due to an injury.
Possible ins and outs for Barcelona:
Ernesto Valverde is expected to give some of the Barcelona B players a chance in this game. Though, the health of the squad and the injuries to key players have left him with no choice nonetheless.
Players from reserve team Moussa Wague, Iñaki Peña, Collado, Riqui Puig, Carles Pérez and Abel Ruiz all trained alongside the first team players. These aforementioned players are in the matchday squad as well.
Considering this is Barcelona’s last game, the under-fire manager Ernesto Valverde will be targetting a winning end to the league season. So expect a strong XI here.
Lionel Messi is expected to start up front with Malcolm giving him support from the flank.
Sergi Roberto is expected to start ahead of Nelson Semedo at right-back.
Barcelona are on a nine-game winning streak against Eibar.
Eibar have won just two away games in La Liga this season.
Barcelona are averaging more than two goals per game in the last nine games against Eibar.
Barcelona have lost just once in the last 25 league games.
Eibar haven’t scored in the last four home games against Barcelona.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection: When Barcelona are playing you have to consider Lionel Messi. Eibar’s record against Barcelona is pathetic, to say the least, which makes the Argentine a hot-shot to score any time in this game.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored a league-high 34 goals this season.
His record against Eibar reads: Games played: 8 Wins: 8 Goal scored: 13
So we back him to score at any time.
Minutes played: 3,843
Goals scored: 48
Minutes per goal: 80‘
For the vice-captain options, there are a handful of options. Eibar have been in good form of late and they have some in-form players on their roster. The likes of Joan Jordan, Gonzalo Escalante, Cote and Sergio Alvarez are all in good touch.
But we are going with Arturo Vidal here. He will be key during the link-up play between the defence and the forwards.
Goalkeeper: Jasper Cillessen Defenders: Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Jose Angel Valdes (Cote), Ivan Ramis Midfielders: Joan Jordan, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Carles Alena Forwards:Lionel Messi (VC), Sergi Enrich
BAR vs EIB Dream11 FANTASY TEAM:
BAR vs EIB Dream11 potential winner: Barcelona are favourites to win the match.