Barcelona vs Girona Prediction: Felix to shine in Catalan Derby

 | December 09 | 

6 mins read

barcelona Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys scaled

Our La Liga expert came up with the goods on Saturday afternoon as his top tip for Real Betis vs Real Mardid came in as the game ended in a draw at 11/4.

He follows that up with a preview for Barcelona vs Girona and picks out two bets he likes ahead of the Sunday evening clash...

Barcelona vs Girona Betting Tips:

  • Back Barcelona to win and Both Teams to Score @ 13/8
  • Back Joao Felix to score anytime @ 7/4

For the second weekend in a row, Barcelona are in action at the Estadi Olimpic in the Sunday night game against top four opposition. This time, it’s Catalan neighbours and the season’s surprise package Girona who are in town.

The game is live on Viaplay in the UK, with kick-off at 20:00 for what feels like one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures of the season.

The massive gulf in terms of the size and stature of these clubs, means there isn’t much of a rivalry as such between the Spanish top flight’s two Catalan teams. In fact, this is only the seventh ever league meeting which makes it all the more extraordinary that we’ve reached matchday 16 with Girona four points clear of defending champions Barcelona in the table.

It’s not even as though Barcelona have been badly under-performing, at least not in terms of their results. Xavi’s team average 2.27 points per game. If replicated over the course of a full season, that would leave them just two points short of last season’s tally when they won La Liga at a canter.

Girona have been sensational this season, firing in more goals than anyone else after 15 matches with 12 victories and 38 points to their name.

Whether it’s brilliant wide play from the outstanding teenager Savio, midfield quality from the impressive Aleix Garcia or the consistent goal threat from Ukrainian duo Artem Dovbyk and Viktor Tsygankov, Michel’s team have been great to watch and too good for almost everyone they’ve faced.

The one lingering doubt about them, and it is a significant doubt, is that they’ve so far only played one member of La Liga’s “big three”. That match, which was at home against Real Madrid, ended not only in their solitary defeat but a convincing 3-0 scoreline in the favour of Los Blancos.

Sunday’s game should therefore give us the clearest indication yet of whether Girona are indeed the real deal. We can expect current odds of 16/1 for them to win La Liga to either tumble or significantly lengthen by Monday morning depending on how it pans out.

On the surface, this might not be the best time to be heading to Barcelona. After a series of underwhelming displays, Xavi appeared to stumble on the right formula last weekend and Barca played well and were very worthy winners against Atletico Madrid.

Joao Felix scored the only goal against his parent club and it would have been a far more convincing victory had Robert Lewandowski brought his shooting boots with the Polish striker guilty of some really poor misses by his normally high standards.

The headlines following the game were unsurprisingly made by Felix who wasn’t shy to celebrate victory over the club he could still end up having to return to next summer.

An official attendance of just 34,568, also raised more than a few eyebrows, Barcelona’s lowest crowd of the season for one of the biggest matches on the Spanish football calendar.

With cheaper ticket prices, there’ll hopefully be a few more on Sunday. However the reluctance of Barca fans to head to their temporary home is a concern and it’s just not a great look for either the club or the league as a whole with a return to Camp Nou unlikely before late 2024 at the very earliest.

Team News:

On the pitch at least, there were some encouraging signs for Barcelona last weekend with Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Ilkay Gundogan working really well as a midfield trio. They should retain their places here in what could well be an unchanged eleven.

The other big positive against Atletico Madrid was young goalkeeper Iñigo Peña who handled the occasion well and looked confident throughout. Barca fans will get a much longer look at him over the next couple of months after Marc-Andre ter Stegen underwent surgery this week for back problems which will most likely keep him out until February.

Girona are still missing a number of squad players but they should be able to field their strongest eleven here with the exception of midfielder Yangel Herrera who was forced off with an injury in just the 13th minute of last weekend’s 2-1 win over Valencia.

Top scorer Dovbyk should continue to lead the line despite the form of 37 year old Cristhian Stuani who came off the bench to score a vital late brace last time out in La Liga, before bagging two more goals in the Copa del Rey in midweek.

Match Odds:

Odds of 1/2 for a Barcelona win reflects the reality that doubts still exist as to whether Girona can do the business against the very top sides. The Draw is 18/5, while if you’re convinced by the in-form visitors, you can back Girona to make a huge statement and claim the win at 9/2.

The Total Goals market is also an interesting one. If Girona are willing to be brave and play in their usual attacking fashion, this could be an absolute cracker and you can back Over 3.5 Goals at 6/5 while Both Teams to Score is priced at 4/7.

However more cautious punters might want to take note of what happened last season, when the two meetings served up a grand total of just one goal, scored by Pedri for Barcelona at the Estadi Montilivi. You can back Under 2.5 Goals at 13/8 on Sunday.

Bet 1 - Barcelona Win & Both Teams to Score @ 13/8

With Joao Cancelo bombing forwards from full-back and the absence of a natural holding midfielder, this feels like a much more open and attacking Barcelona than we saw last season.

Up against a free scoring and considerably stronger Girona side who are a real threat on the break on both flanks, it’s hard to see this being as low scoring as the fixtures last term and there’s a good chance we’ll see both teams score at some point in the game.

However, it feels like there are more potential flaws in the visiting defence overall and after a strong performance last weekend, I’m backing Barcelona to Win and Both Teams to Score at 13/8.

Bet 2 - Joao Felix to Score Anytime @ 7/4

With Robert Lewandowski a bit out of sorts, Joao Felix is currently carrying much of Barcelona’s attacking threat, both in terms of creativity and his ability to score goals.

He has scored the winner in each of their last two games and the Portuguese forward is starting to feel like the man for the big occasion having also netted in the key Champions League win over Porto the week before last. This is another really important game in terms of Barcelona’s title ambitions and I’m backing Joao Felix to Score Anytime at 7/4.

The team here at Betfred Insights provide plenty of Football Betting Tips throughout the week, so check them out on our main Football hub page...

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