Barcelona travel to Eibar on Saturday in need of the three points to leapfrog Real Madrid and go top of La Liga.
After thrashing Sevilla 4-0 at home last time out and with Lionel Messi now fully fit and firing again, confidence should be high in the camp ahead of this weekend’s clash against 14th placed Eibar.
Whilst on the face of it, you may think it will be a straightforward afternoon for Barcelona, but how much do you really know about this game?
Luckily, here below are some of the best facts and stats to keep a note of ahead of this encounter.
Barcelona Enjoy Facing Eibar
In La Liga history, no other side has won more games against Eibar than Barcelona.
After battering them 3-0 at home back in January, Barca racked up their ninth victory against Eibar, drawing them level with Atletico Madrid who have also picked up nine wins against Los Armeros.
On Fire in Front of Goal
Alongside this, La Blaugrana are the team who have scored the most goals against Eibar out of all the top flight sides, netting 33 times. The Catalan giants have only struck more than five past Eibar once though, back in 2017 in a game which finished 6-1 at Camp Nou.
However, they do always find the net at least once though, having scored in each of their last ten La Liga matches against Eibar, conceding just six in return.
With this in mind, I am sure goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic is looking forward to the game…
On a Role at Home
In more positive news for Eibar, they have won their last two home La Liga games.
An unlikely victory on Saturday would make this three in a row, a feat they haven’t achieved at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium since December 2017 when they won four on the bounce.
Is the Ipurua stadium on the way to becoming a fortress?
This is a real strange one for you. In their last eight away games in La Liga, Barcelona have alternated between scoring twice in a game or failing to score at all.
They netted twice last time out in Getafe to keep this run going, which has been running since the start of April when they struck four away at Valencia.
Hitting New Heights
Chilean winger Fabian Orellana has already matched his best goal tally for Eibar in a La Liga season, striking three times in his opening eight appearances this season.
Last term he managed just three goals in 33 games and in the 2017/18 season he again scored three times but in 17 matches.
At 33, Orellena is ageing like a fine wine.
South American Magic
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez just love facing Eibar. Firstly, maestro Messi has struck 15 times in his last nine games against Saturday’s opponents, scoring four against Eibar back in September 2017, which is the last time the Argentine has scored four in a single match in La Liga.
Suarez, meanwhile, loves facing the Eibar backline, scoring in each of his last six La Liga games against them, netting nine in total and assisting a further three. Barca fans will be hoping for more of the same this week.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde always seems to get his tactics spot on in this fixture, with the Spaniard losing just once of his last ten La Liga games against Saturday’s opponents, winning seven in this time.
This defeat came back in 2015 whilst Valverde was in charge of Athletic Club, with his former charges losing 2-0 that day.
The Struggles of Jose Luis Mendilibar
In contrast, it is fair to say that Eibar boss Mendilibar certainly doesn’t enjoy facing Barcelona, winning only one of this previous 21 matches against them, with his solitary victory coming back in 2012 when he managed Osasuna.
In fact, out of these 21 games, Mendilibar has lost 18 times against Barca. Painful.