Barcelona vs Girona Match Preview and Betting Prediction Spain Primera Division at Monday, 24th September 2018

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The exit of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid has arguably improved Barcelona's chances of successfully retaining their league title, but Ernesto Valverde's side have not always impressed this season.

Going behind during the early stages of the away fixture at Real Sociedad last weekend may have been partly due to it being the club's first outing after the international break, but although Barca came back to edge out their hosts, it would have only offered encouragement to Girona ahead of this weekend.

That said, Barcelona are proving to be a different animal at Camp Nou, with 15 goals already coming from their first three games at their home ground this season.

Almost half of those have been scored by Lionel Messi, and with seven goals and two assists coming from five appearances, there are few reasons why the Argentine cannot enjoy a record-breaking campaign.

Luis Suarez has also had a hand in five goals in La Liga, but it is the contribution of Ousmane Dembele which will really satisfy Valverde at a make-or-break period for the France international.

The 21-year-old has established himself as a key part of the team, with his goals away at Real Valladolid and Sociedad proving crucial during the early weeks of the season.

Valverde will hope that can continue with matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Valencia on the horizon, but the Barca boss can have few complaints with how his team have fared ahead of the visit of Sunday's opponents.


Girona over-achieved in their first-ever season in La Liga, and ahead of the new campaign there would have been fears that one of the minnows of the division would struggle to maintain the high standards set over the past 12 months.

However, the arrival of Eusebio Sacristan has kept things fresh at Estadi Montilivi, and back-to-back victories have indicated that the club are capable of another mid-table finish in Spain's top flight.

Travelling to Villarreal and coming away with a 1-0 win - less than a week after losing heavily to Real Madrid - was impressive in itself, but to back that up with a 3-2 triumph over in-form Celta Vigo made even more of a mark.

Vigo almost fought back to claim a point, but seeing out the match against a previously-unbeaten side who still sit in third spot in the division bodes well heading into the encounter at Camp Nou.

Girona will not get ahead of themselves when remaining in La Liga will always be a priority, but more high-profile scalps are possible providing that Cristhian Stuani can maintain his form in front of goal.

The Uruguay international has netted three times in his last two appearances, and the former Middlesbrough man will relish the chance of trying to extend that streak at the home of the champions.

The return of Manchester City loanee Douglas Luiz is also a major plus for Girona, and the 20-year-old's composure on the ball in the middle of the park will be required on Sunday evening.

Girona are huge underdogs to get anything from their trip to Barcelona but having troubled Real Madrid for 45 minutes and having defeated both Villarreal and Celta Vigo, they will never be better prepared to try to claim the biggest win in their history.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Arthur, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé

Girona (3-4-3): Bono; Espinosa, Juanpe, Alcalá; Porro, Granell, Douglas, Aday; Portu, Stuani, Borja


If we start slow, this will be nervous. If we’re at it from the jump, Girona just don’t have enough defensively to keep us from scoring: 3-0 Barça.

Head To Head

The two teams are taking part in just their third-ever competitive meeting this weekend, due to Girona having only gained promotion to the top flight last year.

This weekend's match is taking place a year to the day since Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners on the road, although Girona contributed to their own downfall with two own goals.

Girona took a surprise early lead in the reverse fixture at Camp Nou, only for Messi and Suarez to each net twice in a 6-1 success for the home team.

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