Under normal conditions, today's Barça game would be a game of moderate difficulty. But the rival's situation, the casualties, the fact that it is the match that resumes the League and the proximity of the challenge against Madrid, make it a match with more obstacles than expected. Here my five tactical keys for this clash:
It is unknown how Elche is going to play. He may apply a defense of five, or form with defense of four. Nor the height at which you are going to place the block. And it is that Becaccesse is a coach who has usually played in 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 applying interesting things, but he has just arrived. Whatever the opponent's tactical option, due to the conditions of the casualties and the suspension of Raphinha, it is a good day to put into practice the pure 4-3-3 with Ferran and Ansu up front. Doubts will be behind and in between. In defense, the entry of Eric and perhaps those of Alba or Marcos Alonso seem very likely. In the middle, the big question will be if Xavi decides to rush with a sanctioned Busquets. With Sergi Roberto and Gavi as insurance, the option of the former as a defensive midfielder should not be ruled out.
The factors described above will make today's team have many secondary actors. But it will also be important that the replacements of these structural players today do not enter into a very high effort load because it is likely that on Wednesday they will have to be important as well. At least some of them and in key positions for the proper functioning of the collective game. Precisely for this reason, the movements and breaks that Xavi can give with his choices (either at the beginning or with the current game) will also be very important.
The central axis of the Elche team has serious problems defending backwards. And although it is true that most likely the defensive line will not be very high during a good part of the minutes, it is also true that throughout the game there will be many situations in which the opponent's rearguard has certain spaces behind. And that's where the forwards of Barça (even the second line) have to throw breaks to enter. If the Barça team does it and they complete good through balls, Barça is much better there.
It will also be convenient to raise the level of nonchalance with the ball. Losing the ball is always a non-positive aspect but it must be clear that today's match is one of those where playing fast, triangulating and looking for complicated filtered passes will be very necessary. Both to find scoring chances, and to mess up a rival who will seek to be very orderly.
Fidel is a fast player and technical enough to be able to do damage in contexts with wide spaces in starts like the one that will take place today. He has a good one on one (0.90 good dribbles on average per game) and ambition to step on the box. On the other hand, Omar Mascarell is, in my opinion, the best footballer in Elche. A very complete and high level player. It is no coincidence that he, with 23 titles out of 23 availabilities and 2,000 minutes of play, is the outfield player most used by the Elche team.