In the opening weekend of the 2014/15 La Liga Season, FC Barcelona takes on Elche at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
After two 6-0 victories in their final fixtures of the pre-season, Barcelona will be full of confidence and belief that they can reclaim the La Liga title they surrendered to Atletico Madrid last season.
The Blaugrana experienced their first season since 2007/08 without a major trophy and have rung the changes since. Luis Enrique has taken over as new manager and the club spent over £125 million in the transfer market.
Many expect the side the return to old strenghts and to compete for the La Liga title with Atletico and Real. Enrique, a former Barcelona player and coach of their B side will follow the pathway of Pep Guardiola.
THe Catalan giants to return to possession based football and many hope Enrique can get the best out of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
In the opening fixture, Barcelona will be missing new striker Luis Suarez due to suspension and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will not participate due to injury. However, Ivan Rakitic is expected to start in midfield for his new team, as well as former Real Sociedad goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo.
Elche, on the other hand are coming off of a more modest pre-season that saw them finish with two wins and three draws against several teams from all over Spain.
The Valencia-based team finished 16th in last season’s La Liga and will be hopeful of finishing out of the bottom three for the season to come and retaining their top-flight status.
With the only two league fixtures between the two sides occurring last season, Barcelona have yet to lose to Elche after having won 4-0 and drawn 0-0 in their encounters last season.
Elche will be drawing some self-belief from their home fixture last season, but ultimately a trip to the hot atmosphere of the Camp Nou should prove too difficult for them. Barcelona should win comfortably.
Barcelona will host Elche on Sunday at 21:00.
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