Barcelona VS Girona LIVE Football Score 28/01/2023

Barcelona VS Girona LIVE Football Score 28/01/2023

Barcelona will be looking to make it eight straight wins in all competitions when they take on Catalan rivals Girona in Spain’s top flight on Saturday afternoon. Xavi’s side are currently top of the La Liga table, three points behind second-placed Real Madrid, while Girona sit 11th, boasting 21 points from their opening 18 matches of the campaign. Girona secured a return to Spain’s top flight for the 2022-23 campaign courtesy of their playoff success in the Segunda Division last season, with the team back at this level of football for the first time since 2019.

The White and Reds have won five, drawn six and lost seven of their 18 league games this season to collect 21 points, which has left them in 11th spot in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone. Girona are only five points behind eighth-placed Athletic Bilbao, meanwhile, and they have only lost one of their last eight in Spain’s top flight during an impressive run of form.

The defeat in question came last Sunday at Villarreal, though, with Dani Parejo’s last-gasp penalty proving enough for the Yellow Submarine to secure all three points in front of their own supporters. Michel’s side have picked up 15 points from their nine home league games this season, but Barcelona have the second-best record on their travels, collecting 21 points from eight matches.

Girona suffered a 2-0 loss to Barcelona when the two teams last met in January 2019, but they did manage to pick up a point at Camp Nou in September 2018. Barcelona, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Wednesday night, which secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. Ousmane Dembele scored the only goal of the game in the quarter-final, and it proved to be a seventh straight success for the Catalan outfit, who won the Spanish Super Cup on January 15 by beating Real Madrid.

Xavi’s side were also 1-0 winners over Getafe in La Liga last weekend, and they currently have a three-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Barcelona have not lost a single match since Bayern Munich beat them in the Champions League at the end of October, and they are competing on three fronts this season, with the team preparing to take on Manchester United in a Europa League knockout round playoff tie next month.

There is still a lot of football to be played this term, and it does appear that it will be a fascinating race for the La Liga title; Real Madrid need to keep winning to stay in touch with the leaders, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side have a very tough match at home to Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

Barcelona have four more league games before the first leg of their Europa League tie with Man United at Camp Nou on February 16, taking on Girona, Real Betis, Sevilla and Villarreal. Girona will again be missing David Lopez, Reinier and Ibrahima Kebe through injury, while Santiago Bueno is suspended following his red card against Villarreal last time out.

Head coach Michel will have been delighted with many aspects of his team’s performance against the Yellow Submarine, so the bulk of the XI that started last time should again take to the field here.

However, Valentin Castellanos could potentially come in for Cristhian Stuani at centre-forward, while Bueno’s spot in the middle of the defence is expected to be taken by Javi Hernandez.

As for Barcelona, Pedri is fit despite being substituted in the latter stages of the clash with Real Sociedad.

The Catalan outfit have no first-team injuries at this moment in time, but there will again be two absentees in this league affair, with Robert Lewandowski and Ferran Torres serving the final games of their suspensions.

The likes of Marcos Alonso, Raphinha, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are among those who will be in contention for starts should Xavi decide to make changes.

However, there might ultimately be just one change from the side that started against Real Sociedad, with Ansu Fati potentially coming in for Lewandowski at centre-forward.

Barcelona will make the short trip to Estadi Montilivi this weekend for what promises to be an entertaining game against Catalan rivals Girona, who have been a real breath of fresh air in La Liga so far this season with a proactive approach adopted throughout.

As a consequence, Girona have fallen out of the top half of La Liga’s standings and have only won one of their last five domestic games. They have also showcased some very apparent defensive issues. Michel’s men have failed to keep a single top-flight clean sheet this season.

Barcelona, on the other hand, are flying at the moment, even in the absence of talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski. Simply put, the Blaugrana have been exceptional on the domestic front this season. They are at the top of the league table at the moment, still three points ahead of Real Madrid in the title race. So everything is going well for them right now.

Girona boss Michel will have to make do without the trio of Reinier (muscle), Ibrahima Kebe (knee), and David Lopez (thigh), who will play no part against Barcelona on Saturday afternoon. Likewise, Santiago Bueno will miss out as the 24-year-old serves a suspension after picking up a red card against Villarreal last time out.

Michel will set his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, who made eight saves against the Yellow Submarine in what was a strong showing from the Argentine. He will be in for another busy afternoon here against Barcelona.

The Argentine shot-stopper will be shielded by the four-man backline, which consists of Arnau Martinez, Javi Hernandez, Bernardo Espinosa, and Miguel Gutierrez. Oriol Romeu and Aleix Garcia will form the double pivot in the middle of the park, with the latter assuming a more free and creative role.

As is customary for Girona, Garcia will be the key to their effectiveness in attack. He has not only been Girona’s best player this season, but he has also been La Liga’s best-performing player so far. He has been a constant source of providing goals for Girona this season and would be predominantly tasked with making things happen in the final third.

Rodrigo Riquelme is a shoo-in at right wing, while Toni Villa is expected to hold on to his spot on the left, with Ivan Martin operating in the No. 10 role. Meanwhile, MLS outfit New York City loanee Valentin Castellanos may get another chance to impress ahead of the club’s top scorer and veteran Cristhian Stuani, who looked ineffective in his last outing.

After beating Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final earlier this month, Barcelona have continued to string together a fine run of results, having won each of their last seven games in a row. And they come into this game off the back of a win over Real Sociedad in Copa del Rey, which saw the team seal their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.

Although Girona might have gained plenty of praise this season after making their La Liga return at the third time of asking and their attack-minded default setting, the Blanquivermells are in the midst of a downbeat run of results.

Michel’s side have displayed a spate of shortcomings since returning from the World Cup’s winter break, most recently putting in another lacklustre performance in a 1-0 away loss to Villarreal. Despite a saved penalty by Paulo Gazzaniga in stoppage time, Girona fell to a frustrating defeat after conceding another spot-kick eight minutes later, which was converted by Dani Parejo.

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