Pressure on as Barcelona face Eibar in La Liga (Preview)

Barcelona, Jan 21 (IANS) Reigning champions FC Barcelona travel to Eibar’s tiny Ipurua Stadium on Sunday in yet another La Liga football game they simply cannot afford to lose.

Barcelona on Thursday showed pragmatism when they took an important 1-0 lead in their King’s Cup two-legged quarter-final tie against Real Sociedad, reports Xinhua.

They are likely to adopt a similar approach against Eibar on Sunday.

Andres Iniesta is doubtful for Barcelona with the creative midfielder suffering from a calf injury and coach Luis Enrique will have to decide whether he plays Arda Turan in an attacking role.

Andre Gomez is another player in with a chance of starting following what was arguably his best display for Barcelona in the 5-0 home win against Las Palmas last weekend.

Ivan Rakitic’s failure to get in the first team in the last few matches has raised doubts over his long-term future at the club.

Eibar were also in Cup action during the week, losing 0-3 away to Atletico Madrid in a game where three defensive errors cost them three goals and no doubt coach Jose Luis Mendilibar will have forced home the message that similar errors will be just as costly against Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez and company.

Luis Enrique will be desperate for a win to stay in touch with the leaders Real Madrid and second-placed Sevilla.