Barcelona will be aiming to make it four wins in four across all competitions when they face off against newly-promoted Cadiz in La Liga this weekend.

Barcelona will be hoping to move upwards in the La Liga table when they travel to Estadio Ramon de Carranza to lock horns with newly-promoted Cadiz in matchweek 12 on Saturday night.

Cadiz have made quite an impressive start to their La Liga campaign and are above Barcelona in the table, sitting sixth with 15 points from 11 games. However, they have gone without a win in their last three fixtures (D1 L2), although the two defeats came against the top two sides, Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, before they were held to a 1-1 draw by Elche last time out.

Barcelona finally seem to be getting things right under Ronald Koeman after having made their worst-ever start to a league campaign in close to three decades. The Catalans are seventh in the table with 14 points on board, although they have played just nine games. Having made light work of Osasuna last weekend, Barcelona beat Ferencvaros 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The last time these two sides clashed was way back in April 2006, in a La Liga clash at Camp Nou, with Barcelona emerging 1-0 victors. And ahead of their latest meeting, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics

Cadiz

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Cadiz manager Alvaro Cervera will have to make do without the services of Luismi Quezada, Jose Mari and Juan Cala when Barcelona come visiting. However, Alvaro Negredo is fit and has been named in the 24-man squad ahead of the weekend’s clash. Choco Lozano misses out after his latest test for coronavirus came back positive.

The hosts are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation that they have regularly used in the season with Jeremias Ledesma slotting in between the posts. Iza Carcelen and Alfonso Espino ought to slot in as the two full-backs on the right and left sides respectively with Fali and Marcos Mauro starting as the centre-backs.

Jairo Izquierdo and Alberto Perea ought to be the two players in the midfield bank of four. The duo will act as the supply line of chances for the strikers, while also needing to track back and help out the full-backs. The tandem of Jens Jonsson and Jon Ander Garrido will be tasked with breaking up play and disrupting Barcelona’s rhythm in the middle of the park.

With Lozano unavailable once again, Alvaro Gimenez and Filip Malbasic ought to start as the two forwards, with the likes of Negredo and Bobby Adekanye providing attacking options from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ledesma; Carcelen, Fali, Mauro, Espino; Izquierdo, Jonsson, Garrido, Perea; Malbasic, Gimenez

Barcelona

Ansu Fati and Gerard Pique are long-term injury absentees for Barcelona while Sergi Roberto also remains unavailable. Jordi Alba is said to have missed team training on Friday, but will make the trip to Andalusia while Koeman also has Ronald Araujo back at his disposal, with Samuel Umtiti closing in on a return as well.

There will be quite a few changes made to the side that started against Ferencvaros in Europe. In goal, Marc-Andre ter Stegen ought to return after being rested for the midweek clash. No alterations are likely in the backline, though, with Sergino Dest, Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet and Alba all expected to feature from the get-go.

Frenkie de Jong featured off the bench in the midweek game, but is expected to start on Saturday as part of the midfield double pivot alongside Sergio Busquets, with Miralem Pjanic dropping to the bench. Carles Alena and Riqui Puig will be hoping to get minutes from the bench.

Philippe Coutinho should be back in the squad after being rested for the Champions League clash, but might not start here, with Pedri and Antoine Griezmann likely to feature against Cadiz. That would also mean there’s no place in the starting XI for Ousmane Dembele, who was quite impressive in midweek.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was afforded a rest in midweek, but should return to the lineup here, starting out on the right flank. Martin Braithwaite ought to start as the centre-forward once again, having been in quite an impressive run of form of late.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, de Jong; Messi, Griezmann, Pedri; Braithwaite

Key Stats

  • Barcelona have only lost one of their last eight away La Liga games against sides from Andalusia (W5 D2) – a 0-2 defeat to Granada in September last year.
  • Cadiz have lost their last six La Liga matches against Barcelona, since a 4-0 win way back in May 1991, when Johan Cruyff was in charge of the Catalans.
  • Barcelona have won seven of their last nine away La Liga encounters against Cadiz (D1 L1), keeping a clean sheet in five of their last eight of these matches.
  • Cadiz have collected 15 points from their first 11 La Liga games in 2020/21, which is their biggest haul at this stage of a season in their previous seven top-flight campaigns.
  • Barcelona have failed to win in their last three away La Liga matches (D1 L2). The Blaugrana were last winless in four or more such matches was between March and May 2008 under Frank Rijkaard (D2 L4).

Player to Watch

Martin Braithwaite

The Dane arrived last January as an emergency signing owing to Ousmane Dembele’s injury and while not many expected him to remain at Camp Nou past the summer transfer window, Braithwaite has defied expectations to not only stay at the club but is also establishing himself as a key member of the team in recent games.

Indeed, the 29-year-old has started all of Barcelona’s last three games in all competitions, contributing with four goals and two assists in the process. His presence on the field provides the Catalans with a focal point in attack while allowing the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to do their thing in their preferred areas of the pitch.

Braithwaite is expected to feature from the get-go once again on Saturday night and he will be aiming to extend his good run of form against the newly-promoted outfit.

Prediction

Cadiz 0-2 Barcelona

Cadiz made a solid start to the season and even beat Barcelona’s arch-rivals Real Madrid 1-0 last month. However, their form has somewhat waned in recent weeks with the La Liga newbies failing to pick up a win in their last three fixtures. Furthermore, they are yet to win a single game on their home turf this term.

On the other hand, Barcelona are starting to click under Koeman, racking up three consecutive wins in all competitions, scoring eleven unanswered goals in the process. With the Catalans finding their groove and Lionel Messi returning after a rest, they should be able to bag three points at Estadio Ramon de Carranza on Saturday.

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