Preview: Barcelona v Huesca

Defending La Liga champions Barcelona will be targeting their third consecutive win on Sunday, when they host newly-promoted Huesca.

La Liga

Date: 2 September 2018

Game week 3

Kick-off: 18H30 (GMT+2)

Venue: Camp Nou

Referee: Mario Melero

Assistants: Manuel Torre, Jose Martinez

Fourth official: Raul Chavet

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Barcelona 2 2 0 0
Huesca 2 0 0 2

Previous encounter:

Barcelona 8-1 Huesca 16/12/14 (Copa del Rey)

Barcelona goalscorers: Pedro (20′, 26′, 43′), S. Roberto (29′), Iniesta (39′), Adriano (68′), A. Traore (78′), S. Ramirez (83′)

Huesca goalscorers: C. Moreno (86′)

Players to watch:

The Blaugrana will be delighted that Lionel Messi has already found his goalscoring boots this season. The Argentine netted a brace in the league opener, while talented young winger Ousmane Dembele scored his first goal of the season last weekend at Valladolid.

Huesca were off to a winning start to their campaign thanks to a brace from winger Alex Gallar at Eibar. The 26-year-old is a natural left-winger but has been deployed as an inside forward on the right flank and will be looking to cut inside onto his stronger left foot where he has proved effective.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Catalans have made a winning start to their title defence by thrashing Alaves 3-0 in their league opener before grinding out a 1-0 victory at Real Valladolid last weekend.

Ernesto Valverde’s charges lost only once in the league last season and will be looking to keep their dominant La Liga form going against Huesca.

Barca are level on points with arch-rivals Real Madrid at the top of the standings after two games.

Speaking after the win over Valladolid, Valverde told the press: “Valladolid played with good pressure and they pushed us, but the pitch had a lot to do with it. We were more dominant and had opportunities, but we couldn’t score the second goal.

“There was a time when they changed the system and we could’ve made it 0-2 then, but in the last few minutes we did badly.

“These results give us opportunities to win the league.”

Meanwhile, Huesca will be delighted to have the opportunity to take on a club of Barcelona’s stature, even though they are not expected to take anything from the game. This is the first time in the club’s history that they are competing in Spain’s top-flight.

Leo Franco’s side made a promising start to their first La Liga season by beating Eibar 2-1 away from home before a 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao.

“It was a big effort from my players and this should give them the confidence and faith needed to push on with our season,” Franco told the press after drawing with Bilbao.

“It was a magnificent night for the club, one of the finest in their history but it demonstrates what we are capable of achieving this campaign.

“We are able to make big waves in this league and we to continue on this path.”

The last time these two sides met, in 2014, Barcelona humiliated Huesca by demolishing them 8-1 in the Copa del Rey.

Team news:

Barcelona are expected to be without the services of midfielders Carles Alena and Sergi Samper.

Huesca have a full-strength squad from which to pick their starting XI.

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