Barcelona travel to Sporting Gijon on Sunday, October 2, for a potentially one-sided La Liga match, between the defending champions and the bottom-team of the Spanish League.
Sporting Gijon have just one point to show for their five games in the league and they look set to record one more loss against a team that has scored 22 games already, this season, whle conceding just four. Lionel Messi alone has accounted for 10 of those goals and the Argentine star must be licking his lips in anticipation of more to come this weekend. Incidentally, one more goal scored will push Messi past Laszlo Kubala to make the Argentine Barca’s second highest scorer ever. Messi currently has 194 goals, while top-scorer Cesar finished with 235.
Contrast that performance with Sporting Gijon’s – the El Molinon side have shipped nine goals while scoring just two, in their five games. Gijon’s first four matches ended in losses but a goalless draw against Racing Santander at home last week has raised expectations of a better performances as the season wears, though that appears unlikely to happen against Barcelona. Ahead of Sunday’s game, Gijon have injury worries, with Gonzalez, Carmelo, Luiz Moran and Juan Muniz looking unlikely to play.
Barca trail Real Betis by a point on the La Liga table but look set to overhaul the Verdiblancos should they even draw their home game with Levante. Messi is the man to watch, for Barcelona, after having scored five goals in his last two matches, including two against BATE Borisov and a hattrick against Atletico Madrid. Alexis Sanchez, Andreas Iniesta and Ibrahim Afelay look set to miss the game with Gijon, while Carles Pujol could be subjected to a late fitness test.
Interestingly the last meeting between these sides, in February 2011, at the same venue, ended in a 1-1 draw. Barca prevailed by an identical 1-0 score-line, in the previous two games, in September and January, 2010.
The fact that Barca have failed to win away from home, thus far, this season, should offer a glimmer of hope to Gijon.
Sporting Gijón’s probable eleven: Coinas, Soto, Botia, Conella, Ramos, Castro, Rivera, Cuevas, Trejo, Ayoze, Barral
Barcelona’s probable eleven: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Abidal, Mascherano, Hernandez, Fabregas, Messi, Alcántara, Pedro, Villa
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.