Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 32
Huesca Outs & Doubts: Luisinho, Pablo Insúa, Carlos Akapo (out)
Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 4.15pm CET (Barcelona), 3.15pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 10.15am ET, 7.15am PT (USA), 7.45pm IST (India)
Venue: Estadio El Alcoraz, Huesca, Spain
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA, Canada, Spain), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA, Canada, Spain), others
Following one of the most unwatchable games of all time which was at the same time a big Champions League win at Old Trafford, Barcelona return to La Liga action with a trip to bottom of the table Huesca. The Blaugrana are 11 points clear at the top of league and Ernesto Valverde used that advantage as an opportunity to rest his most important players ahead of the second leg against Manchester United.
Seriously, there are a lot of key players missing this one: Messi, Suárez, Piqué, Busquets, Rakitic and Sergi Roberto are all out, which opens a huge door for young players and reserves to get some valuable playing time and show off their abilities. Facing the worst team in the league isn’t a bad thing, either, so the 14 players on the pitch will relish the chance to play and lead the team to another league victory.
But all the changes will hurt the chemistry, and despite not having a win in five straight games, Huesca have scored 9 goals in those matches and will pose a threat to the leaders. Barça need to be focused and sharp, and take this very seriously. If they do, we might get a chance to see kids like Riqui Puig, Jean-Clair Todibo and Abel Ruiz in action, and even some important minutes for Ousmane Dembélé ahead of the United game.
Even without the key starters, Barça are still favorites and expected to win this one. But they’ll have to work hard and play well. Huesca can score, and a win against the champions would be a huge confidence boost in their relegation fight. This should be fun.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Umtiti, Wagué; Vidal, Arthur, Puig; Malcom, Boateng, Aleñá
Huesca (3-5-2): Santamaría; Pulido, Etxeita, Mantovani; Miramón, Herrera, Rivera, Gómez, Galán; Ávila, Hernández
This will be harder than expected just because of all the changes, but we are still good enough to get a win here: 3-1 Barça.