Under normal circumstances, Barcelona v Leganes would simply be a great way to wind down at the end of a Sunday evening. After what happened earlier this week, though, it could be the stage for a fascinating battle at the Camp Nou.
Will Barcelona respond by hammering their Liga opponents, or will the underdogs kick the wounded animal whilst it’s down? Whatever happens, it has all the makings of a cracking night’s entertainment, and you can watch the drama unfold live from 7:45.
Will Barca Bounce Back Or Crumble?
Luis Enrique is a manager on borrowed time, and Tuesday night’s abysmal showing simply won’t do. The Champions League dream looks all but dead for the Catalonian giants, but they cannot afford to feel sorry because they have a Liga title race to rescue.
The champions are behind fierce rivals Real Madrid in spite of playing more games, and they simply cannot afford to lose further ground. Considering they’ve scored 12 goals en route to nine points in their last three home games, they shouldn’t be dropping points against an out-of-form Leganes.
Barca’s formidable frontline wasn’t at the races in Paris, but Lionel Messi and co. are unlikely to face the same troubles against a team that’s lost each of it’s last three games 2-0. Meanwhile, a 5-1 in against the newly promoted side back in September should provide another source of inspiration.
The pressure is on, but the champions should respond in style. Unfortunately for Lucho, it probably won’t be enough.
Leganes Looking For Upset
Asier Garitano’s men won’t be happy with their current form, but they’ll be satisfied with their season overall as survival is still very much possible in their first campaign as a top flight club. Sunday’s trip to the Camp Nou is a huge occasion for the Pepineros, and it could become even greater if they capitalise on Barca’s vulnerabilty.
That certainly won’t be easy, but the fact that the pressure is off could work in their favour – especially as it is massively on the hosts. Moreover, there’s a chance for Luciano Neves or one of the other Leganes players to become a local hero.
Having said that, it’s hard to see Leganes causing too many troubles, not least because they are now 12 competitive games without a victory. If Barcelona start strong, it could get very ugly for the visitors.
Under these circumstances, though, they have to feel that anything is possible. It should be interesting to say the least.
Barcelona v Leganes Betting
Despite Tuesday’s humiliation, it’s no surprise that Barcelona are the hot favourites to seal three points on Sunday. 888sport have priced the Blaugrana at 1/14 while the visitors are available at 40/1. Alternatively, the draw can be backed at 10/1.
If the challenge wasn’t already daunting enough for Leganes, they also have to cope with the fact that the hosts are desperate to make a statement after their midweek disaster.
Quite frankly, we’d fancy Barca to score early anyway. Under these circumstances, opening their account before 20 minutes looks inevitable.
As for Messi, there is absolutely no chance of a repeat performance from Paris. While everyone has questions to answer, the number 10 has faced harsher criticisms than anyone. And he won’t go hiding.
Does he score? Probably. Does he get two? At odds of 11/8, we certainly think it’s worth backing.