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May 21, 2017 at 7pm UK at Camp Nou
Junca (63' og.), Suarez (73'), Messi (75' pen., 92')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Inui (7', 61')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Eibar

Sports Mole previews Barcelona's La Liga clash with Eibar as the Catalan side aim to push Real Madrid to the wire in their tightly-contested title race.

Barcelona meet Eibar on Sunday in Luis Enrique's last league match with his side aiming to push Real Madrid to the wire in the race for the La Liga crown.

Visitors Eibar are in the middle of a testing patch of form, but have enjoyed their most successful season in the top flight since being promoted in 2014.


Gerard Pique in action for Barcelona on October 19, 2016© SilverHub

The Catalan giants are aiming to win their 25th La Liga crown on Sunday night, although they will now be relying on Real Madrid slipping up away at Malaga, while also requiring three points at home to Eibar on the same evening.

This fixture represents Enrique's last jaunt in the Spanish top flight for the forseeable future and he will be hoping that he can make something of what has been a frustrating final season at Camp Nou, despite his side putting together six consecutive victories in the league coming into this game.

Barca were unable to seize the momentum after some Real slip-ups this season, and the club's Champions League exploits ended in a murmur when they were dumped out by Juventus over two legs, in a season that has paled in comparison to Enrique's achievements across the last two campaigns.

That said, the league is not over just yet and Barcelona still have a slim chance of claiming three back-to-back domestic crowns since Enrique took over in 2014. Should the Barca boss achieve that milestone, he would reach a record at the club matched only by Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff.

Barcelona will be heading into the contest full of faith should Lionel Messi get the nod from Enrique. The Argentine is now Europe's joint-top leading goalscorer alongside Edinson Cavani and has also scored more goals against Eibar in La Liga than any other player.

Recent form: WWWWWW


Eibar's Argentinian defender Mauro Dos Santos (L) vies with Villarreal's forward Roberto Soldado during the Spanish league football match Villarreal CF vs SD Eibar at El Madrigal stadium in Villareal on November 22, 2015.© Getty Images

The visitors come into the clash having produced yet another standout campaign in La Liga. The Basque side are guaranteed to finish in the top half of the table despite having one of the lowest budgets in the league.

Jose Luis Mendilibar's charges currently sit in a remarkable eighth place in the standings and can only slip down to 10th should they lose on their travels to Catalonia.

Following an impressive run throughout the middle of the season, Eibar have struggled for consistency in recent weeks and are aiming to put an end to two defeats on the bounce come Sunday.

Across their last six La Liga fixtures, the club have only been able to pick up a single victory, while losing four and drawing one.

Despite a poor run of late, Eibar's final fixture still sees the side with a hand in deciding the title, which should be more than enough to inspire a performance out of Mendilibar's men, who have undoubtedly enjoyed a standout season in only their third term in La Liga.

Recent form: LLWDLL

Team News

Gerard Pique looks downbeat during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Valencia on April 17, 2016© Getty Images

Barcelona are waiting on the fitness of Gerard Pique, while Javier Mascherano is doubtful, meaning that Barca B defender Marlon might get another start at the back.

Sergi Roberto is due to return to the starting XI and should take the place of Lucas Digne at right-back.

As for the travelling side, Eibar are without Fran Rico, Antonio Luna and Nano for their visit across to the opposite coast.

The visitors are also likely to be missing the presence of injured Takashi Inui too, but standout performers Sergi Enrich and Pedro Leon should feature.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Marlon, Umtiti, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Neymar, Suarez, Messi

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Riesgo; Capa, Lejeune, Galvez, Junca, Escalante, Garcia, Leon, Gonzalez, Bebe, Enrich

Head To Head

Barcelona have enjoyed the lion's share of success when coming up against Eibar in the league in recent years. The Catalan side have won each of their last five games against Eibar, scoring an impressive 16 goals and conceding just once against Los Armeros.

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We say: Barcelona 2-0 Eibar

Barcelona are likely to take the title right to the wire, and Enrique's men will be determined to send their boss off on a high after a memorable three seasons at the helm. Whether or not Real make a mess of their trip to Malaga is another question. Eibar have enjoyed an impressive season, but their poor run of late could continue with a third successive defeat to round off their campaign.

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