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Barcelona return to home from a Middle East trip to take on Elche on Saturday in La Liga play. Xavi's team enter the match in eighth place and are coming off a loss to Boca Juniors in the Maradona Cup. Elche, meanwhile, just advanced in the Copa del Rey midweek but find themselves only two points above the drop zone in the league, winning only one of their last five.

Here's are storylines, how you can watch the match and more:

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 18 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Camp Nou -- Barcelona, Spain
  • Live stream: ESPN+
  • Odds: Barcelona -275; Draw +400; Elche +750 (via Caesars Sportsbook) 

Storylines

Barca: Xavi's team should be well rested as barely anybody of note played against Boca. But they need to find a way to secure some better results, because that marks six games without a win and a whole lot of struggles. The attack has been so inconsistent but they have had spells where they've created chances. Expect to see Xavi opt for speed in attack to try and overcome a slow Elche defense that has trouble with technical players.

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Elche: The club has scored in five straight games and is riding a wave of emotion entering this match. A 1-0 win over Unionistas in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday has them feeling great in terms of the result but far from it when it comes to form. They were outplayed by the third-division side and needed a last-minute own goal to advance. Can they put together a consistent showing here? With quality in the squad with the likes of Ivan Marcone and Dario Benedetto, the results really should be better. Here is a chance to get on track.

Prediction

Barca nab a narrow victory, needing a second-half penalty kick from Memphis Depay to beat relegation-threatened Elche. Pick: Barcelona 2, Elche 1