The Blaugrana’s league form has dipped since the humilitation of defeat in El Clasico and they’ve slipped from the summit of La Liga down to fourth. Luis Enrique’s men will see this fixture as a guaranteed three points however, as their weekend opposition currently occupy a lowly 14th place in the league, with just two wins and nine points to their name.
With an away win over Ajax on Wednesday, another victory on the road will see Barca remain within at least two points of Real, who currently occupy the top spot in the table. They could potentially leapfrog all three teams above them, providing other results go their way. Such an outcome would see them head into the international break in improved spirits.
One man who won’t be relishing the break in momentum that the international break provides is Lionel Messi. It’s a tale of two strikers at the Nou Camp, as the Argentine meastro’s incisive play against Ajax saw him equal Raul Gonzalez’s all-time goalscoring record in the European top flight.
While Messi reigns supreme, however, team mate Luis Suarez was once again left to rue what might have been following that game, as he went another match without scoring. With a single goal separating Messi from joining Telmo Zarra in becoming La Liga’s joint-top scorer, and with Suarez desperate to get off the mark, Almeria will not be relishing their task at the Juegos Mediterráneos stadium this weekend.