'LIFE OR DEATH' MATCH FOR BARÇA
Barça-Porto: the first 'final' of the season for Xavi's team
Published:26/11/2023 - 21:45h
Updated:27/11/2023 - 08:17h
FC Barcelona will play its first big match against Porto this season. With a victory, Xavi Hernández's men would ensure their place in the round of 16 of the Champions League, something that has not happened for two years.
The FC Barcelona faces his more important party of the season in front of the Port wine, a clash determinant to ensure the first place in the Group H of the Champions League. The blaugranas cross a difficult period, and a stood out performance in the Champions would be crucial to dissipate the doubts around the team and back to Xavi in front of the criticisms.
The Barça will play home and foresees a very taut party, since the fans of the Portuguese club travelled in mass to Barcelona to support to his team and exert pressure to domicile. In fact, The club culé informed that it will activate strict measures of control and access to avoid possible incidences in an already classified party as of high risk.
In the gone, the team of Xavi won to the 'dragons' in the Stadium do Dragao with an adjusted 0-1, thanks to a goal of Ferran Torres 'in extremis' and suffering. In spite of the victory, the Barça did not exhibit his best performance, and the venues were near to change the result. The feelings after the party did not go entirely positive, by what Xavi will look for revertir the situation the Tuesday.
The thing is that 'burn' in the group H
The Group H of the League of Champions is highly contested, especially after the surprising defeat of the Barça in front of the Shakhtar (1-0), that allowed to the blanquiazules equalise to the blaugranas in points (9) and difference of goals (+6). Besides, the Ukrainian team follows closely to the high block of the group with 6 points, that could be 9 if they win to the Amberes in his next commitment.
In this sense, the ones of Xavi has the obligation to win to ensure the leadership in the Group H, a crucial factor to avoid confront to one of the 'coconuts' in the eighth of final. In case of a defeat in front of the Port wine and considering that the Shakhtar finish winning to the Amberes, the classification of the Barcelona could engage of unexpected way, leaving it all pending for the party of 13 December in Belgium, apparently affordable.
The Port wine is 'on fire'
By his part, the Port wine goes through a good moment. In the competicion liguera go third to three points of the first (Benfica) and his team goes through a good series, especially by one of his attackers, Evanilson, that accumulates 9 goals in 11 parties and is the current 'pichichi' of the Champions. The Brazilian adds 4 goals, the same that Griezmann, Haaland and Harry Kane. Names absolutely consolidated between which has 'colado' the 'carioca', of 24 years.
In the visit of the Barça to Or Dragao, the goleador had only 26 minutes, but his big explosion in Europe arrived with his hat-trick in Amberes. It went in in the rest, with defeat 1-0 of his team, and finish being decisive in the goleada 1-4. Evanilson Went back to mark in front of the Belgian for the 2-0 final and is right now the big hope of the blanquiazules.
And it is that, the ones of Portugal are opponents known for the Barcelona, since the clash of the Tuesday will be the tenth between both teams in the history. In these nine meetings, the Catalans have won in six occasions and have lost in three, leaving latent the historical advantage blaugrana in front of a club against which is used to him go well.
The Barça is 'touched', but no sunk
The Barcelona confronts the challenge to arrive to the party with positive feelings, which seems difficult task taking into account the spirits that surround to the club lately. The tie against the Ray Vallecano (1-1) has affected to the team, leaving them 'touched' and with the urgency to find solutions immediately. Besides, Xavi does not attain to establish a solid alignment, and the eleven initial always is subject to changes.
In the centre of the field, Of Jong still needs to recover rhythm after his injury, to the equal that Pedri, the one who gradually is going back to his competitive form. Nevertheless, it is true that in front of the Ray, Xavi opted for giving rest to a lot of indisputable headlines like Koundé, Araújo or Gundögan after the stop of selections, which could be fundamental to arrive to the party of the Tuesday with an extra impulse of energy.
Still it is for seeing which system will use the one of Terrassa the Tuesday, but is evident that needs a change. A victory in a so important competition like the Champions League, in front of a difficult rival like the Port wine, could give back the hope to the FC Barcelona and guarantee the classification to the eighth of final, something that do not attain from two years ago.