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La Liga | Gameweek 36
May 16, 2024 at 8.30pm UK
Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos

0 - 2

FT(HT: 0-1)
Lopez (14', 67')
Roque (85')

Preview: Almeria vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Almeria vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Almeria and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Barcelona will look to back up Monday's win over Real Sociedad when they travel to the Power Horse Stadium for Thursday's clash with relegated Almeria.

The Catalan giants head into the contest in second position, while the hosts are languishing at the foot of the table.

Match preview

Almeria are already drawing up plans for next season's promotion bid after their relegation was confirmed following last month's 3-1 defeat to Getafe.

The Andalusian side had to wait until March to claim the first of two league wins, while they have fallen to defeat in 22 of their 35 La Liga games, including losses in three of their last four outings (W1).

Despite being down and out, Pepe Mel's side put up a battling display in Sunday's clash with Real Betis at the Benito Vilamarin, where Leo Baptistao and Luka Romero got on the scoresheet in a narrow 3-2 defeat.

However, Almeria have now shipped 70 league goals this season, leaving them with the worst defensive record in La Liga and highlighting one of the main factors behind their demise this term.

As well as struggling defensively, Almeria have also failed to deliver at the Power Horse Stadium, with their 17 home league games producing eight draws and nine defeats.

Having failed to record a home league victory, the hosts will have their work cut out in Thursday's contest, but they can take confidence from the fact that they edged out Barcelona via a 1-0 scoreline in last season's home meeting.

Barcelona may have lost their La Liga crown to rivals Real Madrid, but they will still be keen to finish in second spot and seal a place in next season's Spanish Super Cup.

Xavi's charges took advantage of Girona's draw with Alaves to climb back into second place with a 2-0 win in Monday's home clash with Real Sociedad.

Lamine Yamal scored his fifth league goal of the season to get Barcelona up and running, before Raphinha dispatched a stoppage-time penalty to wrap up a fifth consecutive home league victory.

The Blaugrana are one point clear of Girona with three games left to play, and they now have the chance to move four points ahead after their Catalan neighbours fell to a 1-0 defeat in Tuesday's meeting with Villarreal, leaving Barcelona well set to secure a top-two finish for the 15th time in 16 seasons.

After seeing his side lose their last two away games against Real Madrid and Girona, Xavi will view Thursday's encounter with La Liga's basement side as the perfect opportunity for his team to clinch their 10th away league win of the season.

Barcelona tend to enjoy success against Almeria, having won eight of their previous nine La Liga meetings, including a 3-2 victory in December's reverse fixture following a Raphinha strike and a Sergi Roberto brace.

Almeria La Liga form:

Barcelona La Liga form:

Barcelona form (all competitions):

Team News

Almeria midfielder Iddrisu Baba is a doubt due to a small injury issue, while forward Largie Ramazani will serve the fourth game of a five-match ban.

Aleksandar Radovanovic has missed the last five games through injury, but the centre-back could return to the squad after resuming team training.

Having served a one-match suspension, Cesar Montes is expected to come into the side to partner Chumi in central defence.

Barcelona remain without the midfield duo of Gavi and Frenkie de Jong due to knee and ankle injuries, while Ronald Araujo is a doubt after a fitness issue prevented him from playing against Real Sociedad.

Alejandro Balde has returned to the grass to step up his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, but the full-back still remains sidelined for the foreseeable future.

After receiving his fifth yellow card of the season, Ilkay Gundogan is set to serve a one-match suspension, which could present Fermin Lopez with the chance to start at the Power Horse Stadium.

Lewandowski is in fourth place in the race for the Pichichi, and three goals shy of the league's current top scorer Girona's Artem Dovbyk, leaving the Poland international with work to do if he is to claim the prize for a second straight season.

Almeria possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Pubill, Montes, Chumi, Langa; Edgar, Robertone; Romero, Viera, Embarba; Lozano

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Kounde, Cubarsi, Martinez, Fort; Pedri, Christensen, Fermin; Torres, Felix, Lewandowski

We say: Almeria 1-3 Barcelona

Having scored in each of their last five matches, Almeria may fancy their chances of breaching Barcelona's backline in Thursday's contest.

However, even if the hosts get on the scoresheet, we still expect the visitors to create enough opportunities to claim a routine win over the league's basement side.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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