Eibar vs Barcelona Could 22, 2021 Match Preview and Stats
Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona’s La Liga season finale when the Blaugrana face relegated Eibar.
Ronald Koeman’s team dropped out of the title race after just one win in five games, but after a stuttering start to the season, qualifying for the Champions League can be considered a relative success.
Talks about Messi’s future have settled like a dark cloud over Camp Nou and although he tends to stay at the club, chances are we saw the last of the No 10 in a Barca shirt.
The club confirmed Koeman had given Messi permission not to train or play over the weekend, citing the busy season and brief turnaround ahead of the Copa America.
Messi has once again proven – not that he ever needed it – how incredible he is at this game, with 30 goals and nine assists in 35 league games.
The Argentine has played no more than two games without scoring since November and single-handedly pulled Barca back into the title race towards the end of the season.
Koeman also has to forego the services of star goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen after the German underwent knee surgery during the week.
This will pave the way for Neto to make his 12th appearance of the season on a defensive structure that will require at least two changes if Clement Lenglet is suspended.
Compatriot Samuel Umtiti should replace him in the middle while Sergino Dest is likely to come back in place of Ousmane Dembele on the right and Jordi Alba remains on the left.
Sergio Busquets will re-anchor midfield and welcome the return of criminal partner Frenkie de Jong after the Dutchman missed the Celta Vigo loss through suspension.
Pedri will also miss the game, the club confirmed, allowing Ilaix Moriba to complete the midfield trio. This will be the only La Liga game of the entire season that Pedri has not appeared.
Antoine Griezmann will make the first two headlines in Messi’s absence. This season was still not at its best, but it was much better for the French than the last one.
Next to him there should be a place for Dembele to move forward after his last role as full-back.