The poor state of affairs after the World Cup vacation apprehensive Barcelona coach Xavi forward of the Spanish league recreation in opposition to Atlético Madrid this weekend.
Barcelona visited Atlético on Sunday after two disappointing performances in opposition to rival Espanyol, together with a house draw that price them the only holder of the league lead.
He additionally tackled third division membership Intercity within the thirty second spherical of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, dropping the lead 3 times earlier than lastly making his manner by means of time beyond regulation.
“We will not be completely happy,” Xavi mentioned. “We weren’t efficient each offensively and defensively. That worries me. Particularly offensively. It occurs on protection, however not on offense.”
Including to Xavi’s considerations, he won’t be able to depend on suspended striker Robert Lewandowski in opposition to Atlético.
The league’s high scorer, Lewandowski, performed in opposition to Espanyol after Barcelona appealed a three-game suspension forward of the World Cup, however a court docket upheld the penalty on Wednesday and the Polish ahead will miss the following three league video games.
“I nonetheless have not considered who can be ‘No’. 9′ on Sunday,” Xavi mentioned.
Lewandowski will possible get replaced by Ferran Torres or Memphis Depay, who began Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Intercity. Torres has performed totally on the bench and typically within the high 5, whereas Depay has solely performed a handful of instances this season.
Ansu Fati began in opposition to Espanyol and got here to Intercity from the bench and scored the successful purpose in further time. It’ll restart on the Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday.
Barcelona drew 1-1 with Espanyol and drew with Actual Madrid on the high of the desk. The powerhouses are 9 factors forward of third-placed Actual Sociedad and 11 factors forward of fourth-placed Atlético, which lately ended their poor pre-World Cup outcomes.
He defeated Elche, who was within the final place, 2-0, ending his three-game undefeated streak within the league earlier than the break. They beat minor division Oviedo 2-0 within the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
“We have now to cease dropping factors within the league,” mentioned Marcos Llorente, who scored one of many objectives in opposition to Oviedo. “We want a victory to begin the promotion. It is dangerous luck for them to not have Lewandowski. He is an important participant.”
Atlético haven’t misplaced to Barcelona at residence since 2019. The Catalan membership received 4-2 at residence of their final match within the league final 12 months.
After leaving Barcelona behind on purpose common, Madrid will go to the seventh-placed Villarreal squad, which has received three in a row after the World Cup on Saturday.
When Sociedad visits Almería on Sunday, they may attempt to lengthen their successful streak to 6 video games in all competitions.
Athletic Bilbao will play at Osasuna on Monday, whereas Actual Betis will go to Rayo Vallecano, who was eradicated within the King’s Cup in opposition to minor league workforce Sporting Gijón on Sunday.
Beginning the season with disappointment, Sevilla will attempt to get away of the relegation zone once they face Getafe on Sunday.
Elche, the one workforce that has not but received after 15 rounds, will host Celta Vigo, which is below the specter of relegation, on Friday.
What video games will probably be performed this weekend?
Elche – Celta Vigo – 23:00
Valencia – Cadiz – 01:30
Villarreal – Actual Madrid – 20:45
Mallorca – Actual Valladolid – 23:00 pm
Espanyol – Girona – 01:30
Almeria – Actual Sociedad – 18:30
Rayo Vallecano – Actual Betis – 20:45
Seville – Getafe – 23:00 pm
Atlético Madrid v Barcelona – 01:30
Athletic Membership – Osasuna – 01:30
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