Barcelona (FCB) 2012 Title Predictions
Barcelona hasn’t been enjoying the best of runs over the past few weeks with soft losses and draws in La Liga. I’m not sure if it is the cold snap in Europe that is causing this form drop but the team appears to be tired and cold.
This has caught me out a few times as Barca have dropped some easy games in La Liga and doesn’t seem to be playing like that champion team of only a month or so ago. It appears to me that Barca have given up the cause of winning La Liga by allowing Real Madrid to take a 10 point advantage in the league.
Let’s have a look at the remaining competitions that Barca remain in to get a feel for what may be the teams target for the next few months.
Clearly the league title is out of reach for Barca this year. Real Madrid has a 10 point lead and the last two away games for Barcelona have delivered an unconvincing 0-0 draw at Villarreal and a 3-2 lost to Osasuna (a team that they beat 8-0 at home earlier in the campaign.)
While Barcelona appear to be able to grind out wins at home, on the road in la Liga is a hard task and it appears that there is no way to overtake Real Madrid before the end of the year.
Guardiola (the Barca Coach) has experimented with the first La Liga team in recent weeks introducing young players to supplement for players that a resting or injured. This demonstrates that Barca have almost given away the league title to focus on other competitions. And if Barcelona remains in 2nd place on the league they will automatically gain access to the 2013 Champions League.
Copa De Ray
As demonstrated overnight this is the #1 priority for Barcelona. As defending champions in the world’s most lucrative league there is a major incentive for Barca to take the title.
The 1-3 win over Bayern Leverkusen was a gusty effort from the team and showed elements of the brilliance that we expect from Barcelona. Messi had a difficult night, but his goal in the second half was a brilliant conversion of a pinpoint Dani Alves pass.
Providing that Barcelona can stay fit and can get back key players from injury there is enough talent in this team to take the title again. It was be pleasing for Guardiola to have some of the best players in the world who know how to play as a team and such a strong bench that includes home grown junior players like Issac Lopez.
For those who like to have a small punt on Soccer I think that Barcelona will remain suspect in La Liga games through to the end of the season. Barcelona will remain hard to beat at home, but can be suspect away from home especially if they rest key players.
The focus for the remainder of the year is on the Champions League and hopefully raising the Spanish Cup as well in May. Away from home Barcelona may prove to offer some good value for money in odds depending on how the first leg of the draw went.
Regardless I am still looking forward to seeing the magic of Messi and this powerhouse team right through to the end of the season….and a win against Valencia in the next week!