The 2018/19 season is slowly coming to an end, and with that, the results of the hard work teams and players have put in is starting to show in their positions on the leader boards, the teams’ progression in Cup competitions and for some, their performances in the Champions League. In this article, we will be checking out FC Barcelona and their chances of winning; LaLiga, Copa del Rey and the ultimate goal; the Champions League.
We will start off with Barcelona performances in LaLiga and try to answer what are their chances of winning it for the 26th time and for the 2nd year in a row.
As it stands now, on February 28th, FC Barcelona are comfortably sitting at the top of LaLiga where they have stayed for the most of the season. As of now, Barcelona has an overall record of 17-6-2 and 57 points.
Looking at the season as a whole, in the course of 25 rounds of LaLiga, Barcelona were the no.1 team in 21 rounds, with only exceptions being 1st, 2nd, 8th and 13th round when they fell to 2nd spot. Nonetheless, with a 7-point lead in front of Atl. Madrid, Barcelona will mathematically stay the 1st team in LaLiga for at least 2 more rounds.
Now to the question; Will Barcelona finish on top of LaLiga?
First, we need to take into consideration that they will stay the no.1 team for 2 more rounds no matter the results they put in in the next 2 games against Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano. After the 2 rounds, there will be only 9 more rounds of LaLiga left, in which Barcelona will play against Betis, Espanyol, Villarreal, Atl. Madrid, Huesca, Real Sociedad, Alaves, Levante and lastly Celta Vigo. As we can see their schedule is not particularly hard, with Atletico Madrid being the only team that should cause any problems to Barcelona. My expectations are for Barcelona to hold on to their lead for the remaining rounds and win their 2nd title in a row, but as with anything in football the final result is sure only after the last whistle has been blown and, in this case, after the last round of LaLiga will be over.
Copa del Rey?
As the most successful team in Copa del Rey, Barcelona has won the Cup 30 times, which is 7 more than the 2nd most successful team in Copa del Rey; Atl. Madrid and 11 more than their rivals Real Madrid. In addition to winning the cup 30 times, Barcelona also won it 4 times in a row; from 2014/15 season until 2017/18 season and will look to make it 5 in a row.
Looking at their campaign this season, the most notable match happened on February 27th, when Barcelona walked all over Real Madrid in the semi-finals of Copa del Rey, which they won 0:3, thus advancing with a 1:4 aggregate score. To be fair 0:3 was a score no one expected and a score that proved to the world how good Barcelona can be and that Real Madrid can be beaten. Now to the question; can Barcelona win Copa del Rey for 31st time? In theory, they should. The only 2 opponents they can face are Betis and Valencia, who I don’t think I need to explain are a class below Barcelona and will be a huge underdog once faced against Barca. If there will be no surprising upsets, Barcelona will certainly win the cup.
The ultimate goal of any club to win in each season, but only the best club in Europe can be crowned the European champions. As it stands now, Barcelona are the 5th most successful team in the Champions League tournament with 5 titles and 3 runners-up finishes. The last time Barcelona stood at the top of Europa was in 2015, however, they have not come close ever since. In 2016 Barcelona lost 2:3 against Atletico Madrid in quarterfinals. A year later, it was Juventus who humiliated Barcelona with a 3:0 win in quarterfinals and there is, of course, the 2017/18 season, which will stay in Barcelona memory for a while. Just like the last 2 years, Barcelona were once again knocked out in the quarterfinals, only this time it was the underdog AS Roma who celebrated. The aggregate score showed 4:4, but the Italian side had the away goal advantage, which meant Barcelona were to once again pack their bags and head home.
So, what about this season?
At the moment, the teams are still in 1/8 finals, where Barcelona got matched with the French side, Lyon. With the first leg in France behind us, the aggregate score is 0:0, which should result in Barcelona winning in Spain and advancing into the quarterfinals to try out their luck for the 3rd time in a row. If we look at the Spanish team as a whole, they do not look weak, in fact, Barcelona are quite strong. A potent attack, strong midfield and solid defence. They have got it all. They cruised through Group B with a 4-2-0 record, and are expected to advance into the next stage as well, but then… I’m not sure Barcelona are up to par to face off against other teams that are left in the competition. While they are among the top 3 teams that are considered a favourite to win the Champions League, I would like to first see how Barcelona can perform against a tough opponent before stating where I believe they will end up in this season’s Champions League. At the end of the day, they need to defeat Manchester City who are in a weaker position after the recent injuries, Juventus with one of the scariest attacks in the competition and of course the unpredictable PSG who has proven to us they can be deadly even without 2 key players.
Now let’s draw a conclusion and try to answer the question; How many trophies can Barcelona win this season?
Barcelona have established themselves as a powerhouse in the LaLiga, where they are 7 points above Atl. Madrid and are holding an impressive 17-6-2 record. With12 more rounds to be played in LaLiga, that gives a lot of room for a mistake, however, I believe Barcelona are experiences enough and consistent enough to keep the lead if of course there won’t be any surprising injuries that could weaken the team.
Moving on to the Copa del Rey, I have already given my prediction for this season, which is; Barcelona will win their 31st title. I cannot imagine the remaining 2 opponents being able to upset Barcelona in the finals, which is why I believe this one is more or less a sealed deal.
And lastly the most prestigious title; the Champions League. This one is really unclear. Barcelona does have a strong team, which I do believe is capable of going far, but then again, there are also other very strong teams left in the Champions League. In the last few campaigns, Barcelona were knocked out in the quarter finals, even against Roma, who were considered an underdog. Maybe Barcelona crumbled under pressure, maybe the other side was just lucky or maybe it’s just written in the stars that Barcelona cannot go past the quarter finals…. we will never know. While I believe Barcelona will end up at the top of LaLiga with Copa del Rey title, Champions League is where I can only guess where Barcelona will end up. With that in mind, the answer to the question is; Barcelona will win at least 2 trophies this season.