Barcelona face Girona in a battle for second place

Girona won the first match between them as Barcelona look to put some distance between them and their Catalan counterparts in the race for second place.
FC Barcelona v Girona FC - LaLiga EA Sports
FC Barcelona v Girona FC - LaLiga EA Sports / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

The last time Barcelona faced Girona it was the Montjuic in early December with their Catalan counterparts coming away with an historic 4-2 win.

At that point, Girona were in the midst of battling for LaLiga alongside Real Madrid. Since then, things have gone a bit awry for both teams, with Real Madrid set to win the league as soon as this weekend.

However, Barcelona and Girona have something to play for in this encounter. More specifically, to see who finishes in second place and earns a spot in next season's Spanish Super Cup.

"There is no personal challenge with Michel, but there is the challenge of football revenge from the first game against them. We had to achieve much more, because we were good in the game," Xavi Hernandez said in his pre-match press conference.

Whether Barcelona were good in that game is up for debate but, to their credit, despite the scoreline, they did have opportunities to level the game.

While Girona have fallen a bit from how they started, Barcelona still seem to be trying to overcome their Champions League exit as well as the loss to Real Madrid. Against Valencia, they committed some of the same basic errors they were making earlier in the season. Similar mistakes to the ones they made in their first match against Girona.

If they want to get a positive result this weekend, they need to clean up those mistakes. Given the importance of the match, Xavi is likely to utilize his "gala XI" with the only absence being that of Frenkie de Jong. His only doubt will be whether to start Fermin Lopez or Pedri. The latter scored against Valencia while Barcelona is being very careful with the latter given Pedri has only recently come back from injury and the club want to be careful with him.

The last time Barcelona played at the Estadi Montilivi, Barcelona escaped with a 1-0 win with a goal from the aforementioned Pedri.

A win or a draw would see Barcelona keep hold of second place as they currently sit at 73 points while Girona have 71. While a loss drops Barcelona down to third, Xavi doesn't think it'll decide who finishes second.


"No matter what happens, this match will not be definitive, but for us it is very important," Xavi said.