On an exceptional run of form in La Liga, Barcelona have been on the charge to reel in Atletico Madrid, as they’ve impressively cut their lead from double figures to just four points.
Having won 13 of their last 16 league matches and unbeaten in 16, Ronald Koeman’s team are certainly in red hot form. Although they suffered the setback of bowing out in the Champions League, this could be a blessing in disguise for the Blaugrana, allowing them to focus their attention more on La Liga.
Seeing as they have had many injuries to deal with, their title push will get even stronger when the likes of Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique and Philippe Coutinho return to the fold.
Considering all the presidential election drama that’s been running in the background and the Lionel Messi saga, Koeman deserves immense credit for keeping his squad focused.
With Messi in masterful form, the fact he’s scored nine goals and supplied five assists in his last nine matches has been instrumental towards their rise up the standings. Ably supported by the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, Martin Braithwaite and Trincao, Barca have been a formidable force going forward. Indeed, the numbers depict this aptly, as they’ve scored 11 goals more than any other team in the league with 61.
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Possessing plenty of quality in midfield, with big names such as Frenkie de Jong, stalwart Sergio Busquets, Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig helping them dictate and control matches.
On top of boasting one of the finest goalkeepers in world football in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, they have some emerging talents putting their best foot forward in the backline, with players such as Oscar Mingueza, Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo and Junior Firpo playing with hunger.
When Barcelona boss Koeman was asked about his team’s title chances, his comments made for interesting reading. “First of all we have to look at ourselves and focus on winning. The team is very motivated at the moment, but not because of our rivals’ results, because of ourselves,” Koeman noted.
“We are playing with a lot of energy and the team is in incredible physical shape. We know from experience it’s not easy to stay at this pace and maintain this level of quality.”
Priced at 2.88 to claim the coveted La Liga title just behind Atletico Madrid at 1.72, the bookmakers certainly give them a real chance of coming out on top.
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With still 10 games to play, including a mammoth clash with Atletico and the clasico with Real Madrid, watching how they fare in the final third of the season will be absolutely fascinating in their quest to win their 27th league title.