Yes. It’s possible.
Barcelona have been on a goal scoring rout this season, disposing off teams along their journey to a possible treble. Players are (seem) happy, M.S.N. are breaking records and the management can’t think of any fault lines.
But if you analyse the Catalans’ recent draw with Villarreal C.F. in a tough road La Liga game, it won’t be difficult to write an article on their fallacies (on and off the field).
SET PIECES (The eternal problem)
Also visible in their Champions League clash with Arsenal, it seems like Barcelona haven’t curbed their problem of height. With Pique being the sole (tall) defender and Mathieu busy scoring (own) goals, the Spanish giants can be easily exploited with corners and long free kicks. Many pundits see this weakness as the main reason Barcelona cannot easily win against an English side.
With the El Clasico coming apart from the U.C.L. tie with Atletico Madrid, Barca’s back line will be put to test.
NO (GOOD) SUBSTITUTES (More than just a Starting XI)
It’s acceptable that Munir and Sergi Roberto can be played in Copa Del Ray, but when it comes to big games, Barcelona don’t have a good supply line of reserves. Not their fault that it has been a long time when Messi, Suarez or Neymar were carried off the field, but considering the game time of the Starting XI, an injury is coming.
And when it does, they will have no choice but to play Marc Bartra (in place of Pique) or Rafinha (in place of Iniesta) and be hammered by Real.
IF YOU WANT TO BE A GREAT FOOTBALLER, DO IT BEFORE 27
We know that Barcelona has been a club with prodigal talent up in their sleeves and La Masia, the Farmhouse of future big guns having more than sufficient funds for Scouting and Training (on paper).
But the last time it got a good player from the academy was 2011 (Rafinha). The average age of the squad is 28.1 years and there will be a time when Messi and Iniesta need a break after 60 minutes of the game.
Deployed by the “Unemployed One”, Jose Mourinho during his stint in Inter Milan and Real Madrid, pressing play against the Catalans if used carefully can make Tiki-Taka a futile approach to score goals .It is believed that Barcelona have conquered pressing tactics (after defeating Atletico since the last 6 meetings), but Diego Simeone himself says that is the only way to stop their frontline and make their passes attempts.
Behind all the marquee signings, shining trophies and individual honors, F.C. Barcelona is a club bitten by massive debt. Being the 2nd most valuable club in the world , they have $545 million to pay .Do not forget the possible payoffs and settlements on fraudulent transfer of Neymar Jr. and Tax fraud charge against Leo Messi.
I am not saying what they are doing is obnoxiously wrong. Obviously you have to take risks to win big and Real Madrid too have a lot to pay to their lavish investors. But, we can say that Barcelona have to win year after year for a considerable amount of time to prevent a financial bloodbath.
Well it’s not easy to even think of defeating them these days, but these weaknesses if exploited, can cause problems for the Catalans. The coming month will be crucial for the defending champions and we will have to see if Real or Atletico can surpass the odds.
P.S. – I am a Barcelona Fan.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.