Competition Focus

Big games coming up in December

One more month to go in 2023, and there’s a lot happening. The first two fixtures are real biggies, both at home and against two direct rivals in the championship race. But there are two other league games to follow after that, as well as one last outing in the Champions League group stage and a festive friendly in the United States.

Barça v Atlético Madrid (December 3)

First up is a game against the side with which Barça are currently tied in third place, although Atlético have a better goal difference and a game in hand. It’s a huge game for both sides, and neither of them will want to settle for a draw. They need all three points to keep down the gap between themselves and the front two of Girona and Real Madrid.

Barça v Girona (December 10)

Catalonia hasn’t had a local derby quite like this one for years. Girona fans are not used to seeing their team even playing in La Liga, let alone challenging for the title, but that’s what’s happening in their greatest season ever. Currently neck-and-neck with Real Madrid at the top of the table, they come to the Estadi Olimpic for what promises to be a fascinating contest.

Royal Antwerp v Barça (December 13)

Victory over Porto ensured that Barça will be in the last 16 of the Champions League and the pressure is off for this trip to Belgium. There is still first place in the group to play for, but barring some very strange results indeed, there isn’t too much to worry about and Xavi might use the game to give some of the more regular players a rest. The Monday after, December 18, we’ll be finding out who Barça will be playing in the next round.


Valencia v Barça (December 16)

The first away trip in La Liga this month is to Mestalla. Valencia are once again not having the kind of season that one would normally expect from one of the biggest clubs in the country, but that doesn’t mean to say this game is going to be an easy. Games in Valencia rarely are.

Barça v Almeria (December 20)

At least on paper, the last league game of the season should be a routine home win against a side that’s bottom of the table and hasn’t won a single game. But nothing can ever be taken for granted in La Liga. Indeed, the last time these two teams played, Almeria won 1-0.

Barça v America (December 21)

Once the game with Almeria is over, Barça will be heading straight to the airport for a flight to Dallas, where they’ll be playing Liga MX side Club America in a Christmas friendly, starting at 8pm local time (3am CET), that is doubling as a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Otis that struck Acapulco in early November. And then that’s it. Xavi and his men will be flying off to different parts of the world to start enjoying a well-earned break!

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