Camp Nou is set for a Catalan derby this Saturday as Ernesto Valverde’s men welcome the Blanquivermell in La Liga
Barcelona will look to strengthen their lead at the top of the table when they return to La Liga action against fellow Catalan side Girona on Saturday.
The Blaugrana are seven points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid, who are in action on Sunday, and they can potentially stretch their advantage to double figures, temporarily at least.
Barca have stuttered somewhat in recent weeks, but they come into the game buoyed by a hard-earned away draw against Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Girona, meanwhile, are performing above expectations this season and a win would see them take a step closer to securing a continental finish.
TV Channel & Live Stream
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Football and it can also be streamed live online using Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Ter Stegen, Cillessen|
|Defenders||Semedo, Pique, Alba, Digne, Vermaelen, Umtiti, Vidal|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Coutinho, Paulinho, Roberto|
|Forwards||Suarez, Messi, Dembele|
Ernesto Valverde has named an 18-man squad for the match and there are no fresh injury concerns following the mid-week game against Chelsea.
Two players who did not feature in that game against the Blues – Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti – are likely to come into the starting line-up.
Potential Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Dembele, Messi, Suarez.
|Defenders||Espinosa, Mojica, Ramalho, Alcala, Juanpe, Muniesa, Planas, Maffeo, Villa, Diaby|
|Midfielders||Granell, Pons, Portu, Amagat, Aday, Luiz, Timor, A. Garcia, B. Garcia, Porro|
|Forwards||Stuani, Olunga, Kayode, Lozano|
Girona will be without Jose Raymundo Luis Suarez, who is sidelined with an injury and left-back Johan Mojica is a doubt.
Potential Girona starting XI: Bounou; Ramalho, Espinosa, Juanpe, Mojica; B. Garcia, Aday, Portu, Granell, A. Garcia; Stuani.
Betting & Match Odds
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona are favourites to win, with dabblebet offering odds of 2/13 on a Blaugrana triumph. Girona are priced at 18/1 to win and a draw is available at 7/1.
After 24 games in the Liga Barcelona remain unbeaten but they have shown signs that they may be losing momentum in recent weeks.
The draw against Chelsea was their third in their last five matches, having already failed to defeat Espanyol away and Getafe at home this month.
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While they won against Eibar in their last Liga outing, Barca have looked somewhat more vulnerable overall and they will attempt to rectify that with a convincing display against their local rivals.
Valverde’s men have already beaten Girona this season, winning 3-0 at Estadi Municipal de Montilivi with the help of two own-goals and a Luis Suarez strike.
However, they will have to be at their best against Pablo Machin’s side, who defeated Real Madrid in October and possess a dangerous attacker in the form of 13-goal Christian Stuani.