Ronald Koeman & Co. will get a chance at winning their first piece of silverware this season with the Spanish Supercup scheduled to start on Wednesday with the Catalans locking horns with Real Sociedad in the first semi-final at the Nuevo Arcángel Stadium in Cordoba.
The Cules have had a disappointing season thus far and that is evident with the three points gap between second-placed Real Madrid and third-placed Barcelona. Koeman’s side are further slacking against Atletico Madrid who have a three-match cushion and currently possess 34 points.
Shifting our focus to Europe, Barcelona have drawn Paris Saint Germain in the Round of 16 for the UEFA Champions League. Keeping in mind the embarrassments of the recent past like Liverpool, Bayern Munich and AS Roma, it will not be criminal to rule out the chances of the Catalans making it big in Europe’s elite club competition.
The Supercopa de Espana thus seems like the most achievable trophy for Barcelona this season. A trophy that can mark the beginning of a new era at Barcelona with things finally settling in under Ronald Koeman. The Fourth Official points out a few reasons which underline the enormous chance Barcelona have at winning the Supercup trophy.
To start things off, Barcelona have been in red hot form since the turn of the year and have been ruthless away from home against Granada, Huesca and Athletic Bilbao. The Catalans have picked up nine out of nine possible points away from home since 2021 has commenced. The instrumental figure behind this good run of form is Lionel Messi. The Argentine has had his second-best start to a calendar year with four goals to his credit already.
The Lionel Messi inspiration continues further with the way Pedri combines with the Argentine. Leo can be credited with the meteoric rise of the 18-year-old midfielder whose performances are comparable to some midfielders at the peak of their careers.
Coming to the defensive side of things, the Cules are in a much better position to where they started their season. The inexperienced duo of Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo have stepped up for Barca when it matters the most. The centre back pairing has been rock-solid in front of goal and the absence of Gerard Pique from the back-line has barely been felt.
To complete the overall setting, Ronald Koeman has started to use the 4-3-3 formation with brilliant execution and results. After being a bit reluctant with the formation, the Dutch gaffer has started to use it to his advantage and the results speak for themselves. Ousmane Dembele has also been a talking point post his return from injury. The Frenchman has behaved like a new winter signing for the Cules with the free-flowing football he adds to the side. Dembele is barely recognizable and has in fact looked sharper in the most advanced areas of the pitch.
Keeping things focussed on the semi-final, Barcelona stand an enormous chance to advance to the final due to the poor run of form La Real are going through. The team from San Sebastian have only won one of their last twelve fixtures.
If Barcelona do advance to the final on Wednesday evening, they would play the winner of the second semi-final between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.
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