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Barcelona vs. Almeria prediction, betting tips & odds for La Liga match

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Now back in command of second place in the La Liga table, Barcelona look to finish the season strong as they travel to Almeria for a mid-May La Liga tilt.

Barca’s slip against fellow Catalonian side Girona has been made moot after flipping back in front of their noisy neighbors this past weekend, and a full-throttled finish to the campaign would mean holding off what would otherwise be an embarrassing position amongst the final standings.

A strong 2-0 victory against Real Sociedad last time out gave hope that Barcelona can conclude an otherwise frustrating season with a promising run-in, despite the lack of silverware across the whole of the campaign.

Almeria, meanwhile, have spent many months at the bottom of the La Liga table and were confirmed to be relegated weeks ago. They have fought to the last, though, having beaten Rayo Vallecano two weeks ago and pushing Real Betis to the brink last time out. They gave Barcelona a real run last time they met in Catalonia, so there’s hope for a hallmark result to send them on their way to the Segunda Division.

While it’s hard to imagine the bottom side getting a genuine result against Barcelona, there’s reason to believe Almeria can at the very least keep it within a goal, and maybe even pull off a shock.

The biggest indicator that they could maybe find a result is the suspension of Ilkay Gundogan, who is out due to yellow card accumulation. The former Man City star has been vital to the Barcelona setup this year, and his absence will create problems for Xavi alongside the season-ending ankle injury to Frenkie de Jong.

Against a high-scoring opponent like Almeria who prefer to get in shootouts, Barcelona may miss Gundogan’s creativity and progression more than usual against bottom-tiered opposition.

The goal totals for this match are frustratingly inflated, as the betting market — which usually plays to Barcelona’s name recognition as well as their perception of defensive prowess against inferior opponents — is smart to how this match should play out.

Almeria have not been held off the scoresheet for six straight games, and even in that goose egg against Getafe at home, they put up 0.85 xG on 12 shots, missing a pair of opportunities officially labeled as “big chances.”

Barcelona, meanwhile, kept a clean sheet last time out, but the opponent was offensively anemic Real Sociedad, and it was their first shutout in four games, conceding 13 goals in that stretch. There should be chances for Almeria here. If you’d like to work your way to plus odds, you can bump the total 3.5 goals on this combo play and return +120 odds, but the added risk doesn’t feel worth the slight bump in value.

With little competitive stakes down the stretch of the season, Xavi has decided to let his youngsters shine, and Lamine Yamal has done just that. The 17-year-old academy product has been bright for months since being called up, but he’s finally started to profit in front of goal.

He picked up a goal on three shots last time out against Real Sociedad, and was one of the few positive performers in the defeat to Girona the match before that. Yamal has totaled three shots in three of his last four league games, earning a larger role in the attacking third.

The absence of Ilkay Gundogan, the assister on his latest goal, could hurt his production, but aside from the hard-working Raphinha and the fading Robert Lewandowski, there are few other options in front of net for Barcelona in a game they’ll likely need to outscore their opponent.

This La Liga match will be televised in Spanish on ESPN Deportes in the United States, a channel which can be found on Fubo, who are offering a free trial for new users. An English-language broadcast is also available on ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+, who make every game of the La Liga season accessible for subscribers.

In Canada, the match will be streamed exclusively on TSN+, while in the UK it will be televised on Premier Sports 1, formerly Viaplay Sports.

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