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Elche Visits Reeling Barcelona

Hosts Trying to Rebound Following Champions League Exit

A reeling Barcelona plays host to relegation-threatened Elche at the Camp Nou on Saturday. Barcelona’s struggles have been under the microscope this season and they reached a new low last week.

Barcelona was embarrassingly bounced out of the Champions League and could only follow it up with a draw vs Osasuna. They’ll look to get back against Elche, who haven’t scored against them since 1978.

Barcelona vs Elche
Pau BARRENA / AFP

As a result, Barcelona are -270 favorite according to the latest soccer odds.

  • Game: FC Barcelona vs Elche CF
  • Location: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
  • Date/Time: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Barcelona vs Elche La Liga Betting Preview

Head to Head

Again, Elche last scored against Barcelona in 1978 and it’s not like the clubs have only met a couple of times since then. Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Elche in February marked the 12th straight time Los Franjiverdes have failed to score vs the Catalan club.

In that span, Barcelona have outscored Elche 36-0 and have been an excellent pick for betting online. Barça is at its most vulnerable point in a very long time, though.

Barcelona in Europa League for First Time

Last week, there was hope that Barcelona would miraculously defeat Bayern Munich to make the Champions League Last 16. Bayern promptly laid that hope to rest as they destroyed Barça 3-0 in a disastrous effort from the Catalan club.

Barcelona is now in the Europa League playoff round where they have a tough tie vs Napoli. It’s the first time since 2001 that FCB failed to make it out of the Group Stage of the Champions League.

It has been a very rough season as Xavi tries to pick up the pieces post-Ronald Koeman. The Barcelona legend’s managerial career has gotten off to an uneven start as he’s now winless in his last three competitive games.

Minutes away from a win over Osasuna on the road last weekend, Barça allowed a late equalizer and drew 2-2. Barcelona is now in eighth place and has been one of the most disappointing soccer picks of the season. Somehow, they’re still just five points outside of the top four.

The post-Lionel Messi era hasn’t gotten off to a good start and that’s putting it lightly. Striker Sergio Aguero just had to announce his retirement due to a heart condition.

Even given the crisis the club faces, there’s still a lot of time to turn things around. Forward Memphis Depay and young midfielder Gavi have been two bright spots.

Elche Walking the Tightrope

Elche narrowly escaped relegation last season and have hopes of doing the same this year. Currently, in 16th place, Los Franjiverdes have just a two-point cushion.

While they haven’t kept a clean sheet for nine consecutive La Liga matches, scoring goals has been the real issue. Elche have scored under a goal per game and Argentinian striker Lucas Boye has been their only real goal threat.

Boye has five goals in 14 appearances and leveled the score vs Valencia last weekend. Elche were minutes away from getting a crucial point on the road but conceded the winner in the 86th minute.

Before that, Elche did pick up a huge 3-1 win over Cadiz, another lower table side. Even given their goal-scoring troubles, Los Franjiverdes have found the net in their last four away matches.

Barcelona vs Elche Final Prediction

It’s been best to not trust Barcelona this season, especially when they’ve been favored by more than a goal.

They are 1½-goal favorites in the sportsbook but I’m not at all confident they’ll cover the spread here or even score two goals. Elche will be well aware of their goal-scoring woes vs Barcelona in the past and want to pounce on this rare opportunity.

Take the underdogs to cover the spread.

Pick: Elche +1½ goals (-130)

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