Clement Lenglet

Preview: Alaves vs. Barcelona – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the La Liga fixture between Alaves and Barcelona. Barcelona face Alaves at the Mendizorrotza Stadium looking to further strengthen their grip of top spot in the La Liga standings. Alaves play host to the league leaders with the desire to end a five-match winless streak which has led to the club dropping down to eighth position. Alaves © Reuters Alaves had been challenging for a place in next season’s Champions League before the start of the last international break, but boss Abelardo Fernandez now faces a big task in trying to ensure that the club’s campaign does not peter out in the closing weeks. A run of 12 points from six matches has been followed by no victory in five attempts, and Alaves have now not ...

Valverde: ‘People say we are champions already – we’re not’

Barcelona are nine points clear with five games to go. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde warned his side still have work to do to defend their LaLiga title despite boasting a nine-point lead with five games to go. Barca ground out a hard-fought 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday night, turning to the unlikely scoring duo of Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba to see off their battling visitors. The three points move treble-chasing Barca another significant step closer to the crown as they responded to Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win at Eibar earlier in the day. “Today was always going to be a very important game and we have nine points left until we’re champions, but it’s very difficult to win,” Valverde said in comments reported by Marca. “I know that people sa...

Result: Barcelona edge closer to title with narrow win over Real Sociedad

Barcelona move to within two wins of retaining their La Liga title courtesy of a narrow 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou. Barcelona have moved to within two wins of retaining their La Liga title courtesy of a narrow 2-1 triumph over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou this evening. The Champions League semi-finalists were forced to call upon unlikely heroes as Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba got the goals either side of Juanmi‘s equaliser for the visitors. The result sees Barcelona regain their nine-point lead at the top of the table with five games of the season remaining, having had their advantage cut to six by Atletico Madrid’s win over Eibar earlier in the day. However, the champions-elect were below their best and a leggy display does not bode well ahead of next we...

Report: Arsenal leading Manchester United in Samuel Umtiti race

Arsenal are in the driving seat to land in-demand defender Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona, according to a report. The France international has been tipped to depart Camp Nou at the end of the season after losing his place in the side to Clement Lenglet. Umtiti has struggled with injuries this season and Barca are believed to have eyed up Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt to partner Gerard Pique for the long term. Arsenal and Premier League rivals Manchester United are among the sides said to have showed an interest in the 25-year-old. Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb claims that Arsenal are the leading the way to sign Umtiti, though, with Roma also possibly set to miss out. The report also indicates that Barcelona want the former ex-Lyon defender to sign a new contract to further increase his val...

Samuel Umtiti ‘on verge of Juventus move’

Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti will join Juventus this summer, according to a report. Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti will reportedly join Juventus in this summer’s transfer window. Umtiti made over 80 appearances for Barca during his first two seasons at the club. The 25-year-old has had a difficult 2018-19 campaign, though, with a knee problem seeing him miss a number of matches, and Clement Lenglet has emerged as Gerard Pique‘s first-choice partner in central defence. Manchester United and Arsenal were amongst those to be linked with Umtiti, but according to Diario AS, Juve have won the race for the France international ahead of the 2019-2020 campaign. The defender, who joined Barca from Lyon in the summer of 2016, has won one La Liga title and two Copa del Rey crow...

Combined XI: Barcelona vs. Manchester United

Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the squads of Barcelona and Manchester United ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League tie. Barcelona and Manchester United meet at Camp Nou on Tuesday night for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. It will be the 13th time the heavyweight clubs have faced off in a competitive fixture, with Barca winning five and losing three of those. The Catalan giants have come out on top in each of the last three encounters, though, including a 1-0 win in the first leg at Old Trafford. Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available for Tuesday’s match. Arguably the toughest choice of all to make is in goal. David de Gea is widely considered by many to be the best goalkeep...

How Barcelona could line up against Huesca

Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up in this weekend’s La Liga clash with Huesca. Barcelona will be looking to continue their charge towards the La Liga title when they travel to basement side Huesca on Saturday afternoon. Barca beat second-placed Atletico Madrid last weekend to open up an 11-point lead at the summit, while Huesca sit bottom of the table, six points behind 17th-placed Real Valladolid. An own goal from Luke Shaw saw Barca record a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. The return match at Camp Nou will take place next week and therefore head coach Ernesto Valverde is expected to make a number of changes to his starting XI this weekend. With that in mind, Sports Mole has ta...

Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Barcelona

Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the squads of Manchester United and Barcelona ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League showdown between the two sides. Two titans of European football go head to head on Wednesday night when Manchester United host Barcelona at Old Trafford for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. United launched an unforgettable comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain on aggregate in the last 16, and will be hoping for a similarly-sized upset over two legs against the La Liga leaders. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side have lost three of their last four outings, though, whereas Barcelona boast a 16-match unbeaten streak that has taken them to the brink of a second successive domestic title and kept them on course for the treble. Here, Spor...

Samuel Umtiti ‘wants Barcelona stay amid Manchester United, Arsenal links’

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti wants to stay at Camp Nou and fight for his place in the starting lineup, according to a report. Samuel Umtiti will reportedly turn down interest from Manchester United and Arsenal as he is convinced that he can win back his place at Barcelona. The French centre-back is facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou as Barca are believed to want to cash in before his valuation plummets. A persistent knee injury has cost Umtiti his place in the heart of Barcelona’s defence, though he did play the full 90 minutes of Tuesday’s 4-4 draw with Villarreal – a poor defensive display from the La Liga leaders. Premier League rivals Man United and Arsenal are both known to be in the market for a new centre-back, but Marca suggests that a move away from Catal...

Result: Barcelona rescue late point in eight-goal thriller with Villarreal

Barcelona score twice in stoppage time to rescue a thrilling 4-4 draw with Villarreal after the Yellow Submarine had themselves recovered from a two-goal deficit. Barcelona have moved eight points clear at the top of La Liga courtesy of a stunning late comeback to rescue a 4-4 draw with Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica this evening. It looked as though the title chasers would cruise to a routine victory over their struggling hosts when they scored twice in the space of four first-half minutes, but it proved to be anything but straightforward as the two sides played out a game of the year contender. Malcom created the first for Philippe Coutinho before getting his own name on the scoresheet in a thrilling first half which then saw Samuel Chukwueze pull a goal back midway through the...

Result: Lionel Messi magic inspires flat Barcelona as they move further clear

Barcelona beat Catalan rivals Espanyol 2-0 at Camp Nou thanks to a couple of second-half goals from Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi scored a brace as Barcelona defeated Catalan rivals Espanyol 2-0 in Saturday afternoon’s derby clash at Camp Nou. The Argentinian forward settled a cagey affair with his strikes in the final 20 minutes – the first an incredible free kick and the second a sweeping finish at the end of a quick counter. Barca were below par until their main man stepped up, with Messi’s double taking them 13 points clear of Atletico Madrid after playing a game more than their closest title challengers. © Reuters Messi uncharacteristically wasted a couple of half-decent opportunities in the goalless first half, firing the ball into Naldo in front of goal early on and t...

Result: Messi nets brace as Barca secure spot in quarter-finals

Barcelona book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League courtesy of a 5-1 win over Lyon in the second leg of their last-16 tie. Barcelona have booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League courtesy of a 5-1 win over French outfit Lyon in the second leg of their last-16 tie at Camp Nou. The contest was delicately poised following a goalless draw in the first leg, but Ernesto Valverde‘s side were far too strong for Lyon in the second leg, scoring through Lionel Messi (2), Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele. Barca have not won the Champions League since 2015, but they will be present in Friday’s draw and their performance on Wednesday night would have sent out a strong message to the rest of the competition. © Reuters The headline...

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