Barcelona vs Elche Live Football Score 01/04/2023
FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández has included Ronald Araujo, a doubt after not travelling with Uruguay during the international break, as the main surprise in the squad which will travel to Elche on Saturday in LaLiga. The defender has been training normally and has been medically cleared. Xavi, whose team moved 12 points clear at the top of the league with the victory over Real Madrid before the break, will not be able to count on Christensen, Dembélé, Frenkie De Jong and Pedri due to injury. In their place are youngsters Alarcón, Aleix Garrido, Estanis and Marc Casadó. Barça will also be without Raphinha, who is suspended for accumulating five yellow cards. Busquets, Ferran Torres and Kessie, as well as Dembélé, are all one booking from a ban.
Barcelona will be looking to open up a 15-point lead at the top of the La Liga table when they travel to bottom-of-the-division Elche on Saturday night. The visitors entered the international break off the back of a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid at Camp Nou, while Elche suffered a 2-0 defeat at Real Sociedad, which left them rock bottom on 13 points. Unless something extraordinary happens over the next couple of months, Elche will be playing Segunda Division football during the 2023-24 campaign.
Indeed, a record of two wins, seven draws and 17 defeats from 26 matches has seen the strugglers collect just 13 points, which has left them rooted to the bottom of the table entering the final straight. Elche are 14 points behind 17th-placed Espanyol, so while it is not impossible to stay in the league, it is very difficult to imagine the team picking up the points required to complete what would be a great escape. Los Franjiverdes are in their third straight campaign at this level of football, which is actually their best run in Spain’s top flight since the late 1970s, while a recent revival saw them collect four points from matches against Mallorca and Real Valladolid towards the start of March.
Elche suffered a 2-0 defeat at Real Sociedad before the international break, though, which proved to be Pablo Machin’s last game as head coach, with Sebastian Beccacece now in charge; the 42-year-old has become the team’s fourth manager of the campaign, and this will be his first experience of coaching in Spain. Barcelona actually fell behind against Real Madrid last time out, with an own goal from Ronald Araujo sending the champions into the lead, but Sergi Roberto levelled the scores late in the first period, before Franck Kessie won it for Barcelona in the second minute of added time at the end of the 90.
The Clasico success moved Xavi’s side 12 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the table, and it is very difficult to imagine them relinquishing control of first position in the closing stages of the season. Barcelona’s league form this season has been stunning – winning 22, drawing two and losing two of their 26 matches, scoring 49 times and conceding just nine; they have been comfortably the best team in Spain’s top flight this term and are well on course to win the title. There has again been disappointment in Europe this season, exiting both the Champions League and Europa League, but the Catalan outfit won the Spanish Super Cup in January and are chasing more success in both La Liga and the Copa del Rey, where they are in the semi-finals.
Barcelona will host Real Madrid for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final next week, holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg at Bernabeu, so they are in a strong position to make the final. Blaugrana have won each of their last seven La Liga games against Elche, including a 3-0 success when the two teams locked horns for the reverse match in the middle of September. Elche will be missing both Pape Cheikh and Lucas Boye through suspension this weekend, while Lisandro Magallan, Enzo Roco, Alex Collado and John Donald are on the sidelines through injury.
The home side will be boosted by the return of Pere Milla, though, and the 30-year-old, who is the team’s leading goalscorer in the league this season with six, will operate in the final third of the field. Ezequiel Ponce could be given the nod over Randy Nteka to start alongside Milla, while Gerard Gumbau is preparing to take on the club that he left in 2016. Barcelona, meanwhile, will again be missing Pedri and Ousmane Dembele due to hamstring problems, with the duo not expected to return for another three weeks or so.
Andreas Christensen is also missing due to the calf problem that he picked up while representing Denmark during the international break, while Frenkie de Jong is out with a hamstring issue. Araujo has recovered from an adductor issue and is in the squad, but he is unlikely to be risked for this match ahead of El Clasico, so Eric Garcia and Marcos Alonso could both start at the back. Raphinha will be absent due to a suspension, meanwhile, which could open the door for both Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati to feature alongside Robert Lewandowski in the final third of the field.
The 2022-23 edition of La Liga returns to the fold with another round of matches this weekend as Elche lock horns with Xavi’s Barcelona side in an important encounter at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on Saturday. Elche are currently rooted to the bottom of the La Liga standings and have struggled to cope with the rigours of the top flight this season. The home side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad last week and will need to work hard to bounce back in this fixture.
Barcelona, on the other hand, are at the top of the league table at the moment and have been in impressive form on the domestic front. The Catalan giants secured a crucial 2-1 victory against arch-rivals Real Madrid in their previous game and will look to take it up a notch this weekend. Barcelona are currently the favourites to win the La Liga title and have carved out a 12-point lead over Real Madrid. Robert Lewandowski is in the midst of a slight slump at the moment and will look to return to his lethal best this weekend. Elche have been in poor form this season and will have a mountain to climb this season. Barcelona are the better team on paper and should be able to win this game.
LaLiga Santander leaders Barcelona will face bottom-placed Elche on Saturday night at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero. The Blaugrana currently sit 12 points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid after grabbing a 2-1 comeback Clasico victory at the Spotify Camp Nou just before the international break. As for Elche, they decided to fire coach Pablo Machin during the break and replaced him with Sebastian Beccacece after losing 2-0 away at Real Sociedad. Having grabbed just 13 points from 26 games, Elche are unlikely to avoid relegation this season.