BARCELONA, Spain (NWN) — While club officials are in talks to sign coach Xavi Hernandez in Qatar, Barcelona are set to play at Celta Vigo in a match to Spain, which needs to gain a foothold in the Spanish league. need to win.
If Barcelona goes their way, Sergi Barjuan’s last match as caretaker coach will be on Saturday at the Ballidos Stadium. The two-week international break for the clubs follows, providing a window for a new coach and allowing Barjuan to return to Barcelona’s reserve team.
“I’m going about it like it was my team,” Barjuan said of his interim job. “If you show (the players) you have doubts… the only way to put everyone together is to be honest, convince my players and help them get better. I can’t think of tomorrow.”
Barjuan has so far oversaw a disappointing 1–1 home draw with Alves in the domestic league and a 1–0 win at Dynamo Kiev. This increased the chances of Barcelona progressing to the Champions League knockout rounds.
But Barcelona leads Celta with no margin for error in Spain. In the league for the past two decades, the dominant club is ranked ninth, nine points behind Real Sociedad.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta insisted that “there is no transition season for Barcelona” and that while winning the title is always the team’s main objective, it is becoming increasingly clear that a place in the top four is economic. The most realistic objective is for a weaker club. Lost Lionel Messi. And the team would have to improve to reach that goal after just four wins in 11 league matches.
Reports in Barcelona’s sports press this week are important for Barcelona to sign Xavi. The club has sent a delegation to Qatar where he is in talks for his release as Al-Saad’s coach. However, his current employer says he has no desire to let him go mid-season.
Laporta said after Ronald Komen’s firing last week That their employees are considering other candidates for the job without naming them.
Against Celta, Barcelona will likely be without injured defender Gerard Pique, but Barjuan will be able to rely on recovered winger Ousmane Dembele after playing his first minute of the season in Kiev.
At the top
Sociedad will be aiming to extend their 11-game unbeaten streak in the league when they visit Osasuna on Sunday. However, the Basque club has concerns about its top two scorers. Mikel Oyarzabal will miss Thursday’s Europa League match against Sturm Graz, while Alexander Isaacs is doubtful.
Sociedad is one point ahead of both Real Madrid and Sevilla, while Atlético Madrid are in fourth place with a three-point drop over the weekend.
Madrid claims the top two scorers in the league. Nine of 13 goals from Karim Benzema’s campaign this season have come in the league, while Vinicius Jr. is behind with seven.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team will host sixth-placed Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. This season, Rayo, who owns the best home record in the league, has won on the road only once.
Sevilla play fifth-placed Real Betis in the Seville derby on Sunday, while Atletico tour Valencia in the Champions League in hopes of bouncing back from their 2-0 loss to Liverpool on Wednesday.
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