Barcelona is going through a wonderful spell, as they are unbeaten in their last 30 games. Barca will want to continue that splendid run when they face Sporting Gijon at El Molinon on Wednesday in the La Liga.
Barcelona has a chance to increase their lead at the top of the La Liga, which they currently lead with 57 points. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid lie second and third respectively, with 54 and 53 points. If they defeat Sporting, Barcelona can increase their lead to six points.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique sees this game as an opportunity to widen the gap at the top.
"This game gives us a chance to put some more distance between us and our direct rivals. A victory would be a big step towards our objective, but it wouldn't be definitive." Enrique was quoted as saying by Barcelona football club official website.
If Barcelona's 6-1 win against Celta Vigo in their last game is anything to go by, one does not see Sporting Gijon troubling the champions. Though the pitch in El Molinon is not the greatest in the La Liga, Barcelona are expected to cruise through with some brilliant eye-catching football. Barcelona is playing an entertaining brand of football this season, with great consistency.
Despite being favourites for the match, Enrique does not want his team to take Sporting lightly.
"They're a very hard-working team that uses their defence to manage their attacks and they're one of the most intense teams in the league. I see them capable of avoiding relegation even though they haven't reinforced the team very much. They're very competitive." Enrique said.
Barcelona has hit top gear and their offensive players are scoring goals for fun. Luis Suarez, who scored a hat trick against Celta Vigo, has been the most impressive player for Barcelona, scoring 23 goals in the La Liga, the highest so far in the league. Neymar and Lionel Messi have also played their parts, scoring 17 and 13 goals respectively in the La Liga.
The trio -- unstoppable at the moment -- is one of the most deadly in world football at present and the Sporting defenders need to be as solid as a rock in order to contain these stars from scoring goals.
Barcelona can expect Gijon to come hard at them, wuth the home fans desperater to see their team deliver a shock win. On a positive note, Sporting Gijon, after their loss against Real Madrid on January 17, has been quite impressive as they are on an unbeaten four-match streak. But their test against Barcelona will prove to be their toughest in recent times.
Sporting Gijon is set to miss Dani Ndi and Antonio Sanabria for the contest while Barcelona has all their players fit and Enrique will have a full squad to choose from. Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto have been left out of the squad to keep them fresh for some of the huge games coming up, including their Champions League game against Arsenal next week.
Where to watch live
Sporting Gijon vs Barcelona is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CET (11p.m. IST, 5:30pm GMT, 12:30pm ET) start, with live TV coverage in India on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. Viewers in India can also watch the match via live streaming online on Sony Liv.
Football fans in Spain can catch Sporting Gijon vs Barcelona live on Canal+ Liga and Movistar Futbol.
Viewers in the UK can watch Levante vs Barcelona live on Sky Sports 2/HD with live streaming on Sky Go.
Bein Sports will broadcast Levante vs Barcelona in the US with live streaming on Bein Sports Connect.