Preview: Leganes v Barcelona

Barcelona

Leganes have the tough task of trying to contain Barcelona in Saturday’s La Liga clash at the Estadio Municipal de Butarque.

18 November 2017
Primera Division
Kick-off: 17:15 local time
Venue: Estadio Municipal de Butarque

Referee: Alberto Undiano
Assistants: Diego Barbero, Inigo Prieto
Fourth official: German Cid

Head-to-head summary

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Leganes 2 0 0 2
Barcelona 2 2 0 0

Previous encounter

Barcelona 2-1 Leganes (19 February 2017) – Primera Division

Barcelona goalscorers: L. Messi (4′) (90’)
Leganes scorer: Unai Lopez (71’)

Players to watch

The return from suspension of influential defensive midfielder Ruben Perez could bring some more reassurance to a Leganés outfit that lost back-to-back matches prior to the international break to Sevilla and Valencia. He had been a regular until his recent ban.

There appears to be no end in sight to the slump being endured by the usually extraordinary Luis Suarez. With no goals to his name in his last four league games and only three in 2017/18, all eyes could be on the 30-year-old this weekend to see if he can start firing once again.

Team form and manager quotes

Despite two losses before the recent international break, the home side’s coach, Asier Garitano, believes his men can produce a top performance against Barca. He said, “It’s not easy, you have to focus on your own and believe that you’re going to play a good game, and that things in the game go in favor. We are ready to play a great game.”

Meanwhile Ernesto Valverde, who sees his side enjoying a healthy lead at the top of the Primera Division, takes the view that breaking down Los Legionarios’ solid defence could be key. He told reporters, “Leganes are a rival who have conceded few goals and it is difficult to create chances against them. They play with enthusiasm.”

Team news

Leganes welcome Ruben Perez back from a ban to provide added defensive grit in front of the back four, alongside a likely pairing of Javier Eraso and Gabriel Pires.

For the visitors, Ousmane Dembele is out with a thigh injury. Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes and Rafinha are all still sidelined. Javier Mascherano also misses out after being injured for Argentina.

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