Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prediction: Girona vs FC Barcelona

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 26 Jan 2019

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Verdict: Over 3.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

A Catalan derbi will take this place this Sunday at Estadio Municipal de Montilivi. Girona will aim to end their seven-game winless run in the league but they will have an extremely tough opponent in FC Barcelona. Los Blaugranas sit at the top of the standings, but will aim to bounce back following their surprising Copa del Rey loss earlier this week. Kick-off is scheduled at 15:15 BST.

Girona

There’s no need to say the hosts have had an inconsistent season. The numbers do not lie, and Girona have won only five of their 20 La Liga matches thus far while drawing nine and losing six. That’s a low win total, but that should be the team’s less important worry since right now they are going what’s arguably their worst run in the top flight since last season’s promotion. The Catalan side has not won any of their previous seven league matches (D4, L3) and have taken just three points over their past 15 available. To make things even more complicated, Girona are coming off a 3-2 loss to Betis (on the road) the last time out, and currently sit in 12th place in the standings with 24 points. They sit only four points above the red zone but with five teams between them and a potential relegation threat, Girona remain safe. At least for now. But that might change if their poor run of form continues for an extended period of time.

Team News

Girona won’t have three players available for this one due to injury.

Aday (knee), Johan Mohica (knee) and Patrick Roberts (thigh) have been ruled out. Meanwhile, Carles Planas is doubtful due to a muscle injury.

FC Barcelona

If Girona’s season has been a disaster, then Barcelona’s one could be considered a huge success. Ernesto Valverde’s men have been dominating the competition, and right now they sit at the top of the standings with a comfortable five-point lead over the second-placed Atletico Madrid. Los Blaugranas have won their previous seven league matches and right now it seems no Liga side can match up with their strong attack or their nasty defence. Barcelona lead the standings with 46 points (W14, D4, L2) but need to bounce back since they suffered a 2-0 loss to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey earlier this week. Playing on the league is an entirely different thing and, at least on paper, Barca certainly look like the stronger side and the heavy favourites to win here. But they can’t get complacent; otherwise, they could be in line for another upset and a second-consecutive loss in all competitions.

Team News

Much like Girona, Barcelona will have three absentees entering this derby match.

Rafinha has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. But the French duo of Samuel Umtiti (knee) and Ousmane Dembele (ankle) have also been ruled out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Eight of Girona’s last 10 matches in all competitions have seen both teams scoring. Only five, however, have had over 2.5 goals scored.
  • On the other hand, Barcelona’s games have seen both teams scoring in only four of their previous 10 matches in all competitions.
  • Goals have not been a problem for the league leaders, though. Los Blaugranas own the league’s best attack with 56 goals in only 20 matches.
  • Girona have only scored 23 times, while conceding 26. That’s not a mark that should give them confidence entering this one.
  • These two sides have only met three times in league play. Barcelona are undefeated (W2, D1) and all three games have had over 2.5 goals scored.

Conclusion

Both sides will undoubtedly try to secure the three points in this derby. However, I expect Barcelona to dominate and control the contest. Given their attacking power and Girona’s struggles, we could very well over 3.5 goals scored in this one.

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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