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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Huesca and Barcelona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barcelona will be looking to return to winning ways in Spain's top flight when they continue their 2020-21 campaign away to struggling Huesca on Sunday night.

The Catalan giants were held to a 1-1 draw by Eibar on Tuesday and are currently sixth in the table, while Huesca are bottom of the pile, having only collected 12 points from their opening 16 matches.


Match preview

Huesca manager Michel pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Huesca have actually only lost six of their 16 La Liga games this season, which is far from disastrous, but they have managed just one victory, drawing a league-high nine times.

Michel's side are only three points from the safety of 17th position, but the fact that they have only picked up one league victory this term is a concern at this stage of the campaign.

The reigning Segunda Division champions have picked up four points from their last two home league games against Alaves and Levante but will enter this clash off the back of a 2-1 loss at Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

Huesca actually held Barca to a goalless draw when they last locked horns in April 2019, but the Catalan giants ran out 8-2 winners in the reverse match during that particular campaign.

Ousmane Dembele celebrates scoring for Barcelona against Eibar in La Liga on December 29, 2020© Reuters

Barca, as mentioned, will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Eibar at Camp Nou on Tuesday night; Kike sent the visitors into a 57th-minute lead before Ousmane Dembele levelled 10 minutes later, but Ronald Koeman's side could not find a second as they disappointingly dropped two points.

The result left the Catalan side in sixth position in the table, some 10 points off leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand, which is an indication of their struggles this term.

A record of seven wins, four draws and four defeats has brought Barca 25 points from their 15 matches, and it is difficult to imagine them catching up with Atletico and Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Koeman's side have drawn two of their last three in the league, while they have already lost at Getafe, Atletico and Cadiz in Spain's top flight this term, which should hand Huesca confidence ahead of the contest.

Each of Barca's next four league matches are away, facing Huesca, Athletic Bilbao, Granada and Elche on their travels before closing the month of January with a home game against Athletic.

Huesca La Liga form: LDWLDL
Huesca form (all competitions): DWWLDL

Barcelona La Liga form: LWWDWD
Barcelona form (all competitions): LWWDWD


Team News

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on December 19, 2020© Reuters

Huesca will again be unable to call upon Pablo Maffeo through injury, while Sandro Ramirez is doubtful, meaning that Shinji Okazaki should be given the nod in the final third of the field.

Pablo Insua is back from a suspension, although it would not be a surprise to see Dimitrios Siovas and Jorge Pulido retain their positions in the middle of the defence.

Javi Ontiveros and David Ferreiro should also feature in the final third of the field, while Mikel Rico and Pedro Mosquera are likely to retain their midfield positions for the league's basement side.

Barca will again be without the services of Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique through injury, while Philippe Coutinho is also facing a long period on the sidelines with a knee problem.

Jordi Alba is available following a suspension, though, and should come into the starting side, while Lionel Messi has returned to training following an ankle issue and should feature in the first XI.

Dembele's goal off the bench against Eibar could be enough to earn him a starting role at the expense of Antoine Griezmann, while Sergio Busquets should also return in the middle of the park.

Huesca possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Lopez, Pulido, Siovas, Galan; Mosquera, Rico; Ferreiro, B Garcia, Ontiveros; Okazaki

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Braithwaite, Pedri, Dembele; Messi


SM words green background

We say: Huesca 0-2 Barcelona

Huesca, as mentioned, have only lost six of their 16 league matches this season despite sitting bottom of the table, meaning that it will not be an easy game for Barca. The Catalan side should be able to welcome back Messi, though, and we fancy the Argentine to inspire the visitors to a 2-0 success.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman pictured in October 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan114520
United StatesUnited States1010929
ChinaChina105823
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78419
AustraliaAustralia61815
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
3Barcelona00000000
4CadizCadiz00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6AlavesAlaves00000000
7ElcheElche00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10Granada00000000
11Levante00000000
12Mallorca00000000
13Osasuna00000000
14Rayo Vallecano00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000

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