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Preview: Cadiz vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups
23/09/2021 13:42:31

Barcelona will look to bounce back from a slightly underwhelming start to the season on Thursday (9:00PM, 23 Sept), when they make the trip to Cadiz.

The Blaugrana currently occupy seventh spot after four league outings, while their hosts sit three points worse off in 13th place, having played a game more.

We say: Cadiz 1-1 Barcelona

Barcelona are yet to fully kick into gear this season, and we would not be surprised to see Cadiz take advantage of a vulnerable squad, as they take on the Blaugrana at a good time.

While we do not see Los Piratas outclassing the visitors, Barca's lack of firepower going forward, other than Depay, could result in a low-scoring affair and a positive result for Cervera's men.

Match preview

After winning promotion from the second tier, Cadiz impressed in their first season back in the top flight last term, eventually finishing in 12th spot, 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

With the ultimate aim of avoiding the drop again this time around, they started positively, as a 97th-minute Alfonso Espino equaliser saw them snatch a point in a 1-1 draw with Levante.

After another creditable draw against Real Betis, Alvaro Cervera's men went on to suffer back-to-back defeats at the hands of Osasuna and Real Sociedad but bounced back with a win on Friday.

Los Piratas made the trip to Celta Vigo, and first-half goals from Anthony Lozano and Espino saw them earn a two-goal lead, with Cervera's men eventually seeing out a narrow victory after Santi Mina pulled a goal back for the hosts.

Having collected a commendable tally of five points from their opening five games, Los Piratas will now look to put another positive result on the board, but they face a tough test as Ronald Koeman's men arrive with the aim of getting back to winning ways.

Barcelona kicked off their bid to regain the La Liga title with a 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad, thanks to a Martin Braithwaite brace and goals from Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto, before being held to a 1-1 draw by Athletic Bilbao.

They then returned to winning ways at home to Getafe, before suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the opening game of this season's Champions League group stage, as Robert Lewandowski hit a double after Thomas Muller's opener.

Koeman's men now come into Thursday's trip on the back of a 1-1 draw with Granada, as defender Ronald Araujo rescued a point with a 90th-minute equaliser after Domingos Duarte's second-minute opener looked to have fired their opponents to a 1-0 win.

While that late goal did keep the Blaugrana's league unbeaten run alive, they have largely failed to impress in the Spanish top flight so far, having only netted five goals from their four games, while conceding three at the other end, and they will be keen to build a winning run to avoid losing further ground to the likes of Real Madrid, who sit at the summit with 11 points from five outings.

Team News

Cadiz have a number of injury issues to deal with, as the likes of Jon Ander Garrido, Jose Mari, Alberto Perea and Carlos Akapo will all continue spells on the sidelines.

However, they will be boosted by the return of centre-back Cala from suspension, and he should slot straight back into the defensive line.

Anthony Lozano will continue to play a key role from the wing, while experienced forward Alvaro Negredo will be pushing for a return to the starting XI after being reduced to a substitute appearance last time out.

Barcelona also have a long list of absences to deal with, as the front line, in particular, has been hit badly, with strikers Sergio Aguero and Martin Braithwaite and wingers Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele all ruled out.

Given those absences, Memphis Depay will continue to lead the line following his summer move from Lyon, while Phillipe Coutinho and Yusuf Demir could again feature on the flanks.

Crucial midfielder Pedri will also miss out, leaving Sergi Roberto to complete the midfield trio alongside Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong, while Alejandro Balde pulled up injured after deputising for Jordi Alba on the left-hand side of a back four, leaving no fit senior left-backs in the squad.

Gerard Pique will be pushing for a return to the starting XI after coming off the bench last time out, but Ronald Araujo's late goal and impressive performance may be enough to keep him in the side.

Cadiz possible starting lineup:

Ledesma; Carcelen, Cala, Haroyan, Espino; Salvi, Fali, Alarcon, Jonsson, Lozano; Negredo

Barcelona possible starting lineup:

Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Garcia, Dest; Roberto, Busquets, De Jong; Coutinho, Depay, Demir

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