Barcelona travel to Eibar on Sunday afternoon for the last round of the 2018-19 La Liga campaign.
Crowned champions Barcelona will close the 2018-19 campaign in La Liga with an away trip to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium.
It is going to be an important game for Lionel Messi, who is chasing his sixth European Golden Shoe award. The Argentine has scored 34 goals, two more than challenger Kylian Mbappe who also has one game to play until the end of the season.
Eibar are currently in 12th place on the table, with a possibility to improve their ranking, if they manage to win more points than Real Betis, who are traveling to Madrid for the final round.
Eibar will miss Ruben Pena and Anaitz Arbilla in the last game of the 2018-19 campaign, while Pedro Bigas remains a major doubt.
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is out for the Catalans, as the German is also doubtful for the Copa del Rey final against Valencia.
📹 Barça week pic.twitter.com/5CzdwJjXae
— SD Eibar 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@SDEibarEN) May 17, 2019
Luis Suarez will miss the game as well, due to a knee injury, alongside French winger Ousmane Dembele and Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
Another Brazilian midfielder is expected to return in the squad though, as Arthur Melo should be fit enough to take a place on the bench.
What did the managers say
Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar praised his old friend, Ernesto Valverde, saying he is the right man for the Catalans.
“He’s the best coach that Barcelona can have, but not only because of how he trains but because of how cool he is,” said Mendilibar via Marca.
”Now it seems that winning the League is nothing, previously in the European Cup went only the ones who won the League and it was very important to win it.
“Today, as three and even four teams play from the same country play, it seems that it is not so important to win it, but he has already won it and can win the Cup also.”
Ernesto Valverde talked about Antoine Griezmann, who is heavily linked with a move to Barcelona since confirming his Atletico Madrid exit.
“We always say the same – he’s a player at a different club,” Valverde told a news conference, as we’ve already reported.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 19, 2019
“Who knows? He’s a great player, I’ve never denied that. Are you going to ask every coach in football if they want him? Is that your plan?”
“We’re talking about an assumption, a player who might come, who could be here. I’m not going to talk about his position.”
History books are on Barcelona’s side, as they’ve beaten Eibar in all nine times they have faced each other in La Liga.
Eibar have a good home record this season, losing only four of the 18 games they’ve played in front of their own supporters.
Barcelona won the reverse fixture 3-0 at the Camp Nou, as Luis Suarez netted twice and provided an assist for Leo Messi.
The Catalans have won their seventh La Liga title in the last 10 years – what a way to dominate Spanish football!