- Barca is third in La Liga after the international break of November
- Xavi’s team has failed to win many games in this season, and they lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
- How Xavi’s injury can help his team.
Despite the financial turmoil and the high turnover in players over the past years, Barcelona still won the La Liga title for 2022/23.
Currently, the team is not in a position to successfully defend its crown.
Xavi and his team are third after thirteen games in Spain’s top division, but they would have been fourth had Atletico Madrid won the game that was left to play. Girona is the top team in La Liga with 34 points. Real Madrid are second on 32. Barcelona has 30, so they’re not too far behind.
Xavi’s main task this season will be to make sure Barca reaches the knockout rounds of the Champions League. The team won its first three group games, but the loss to Shakhtar Donetsk is a blow.
During the international break in November, the team will need to work out a few things that can help them climb the La Liga ladder and reach the knockouts for the Champions League.
Midfielders can score goals
Barca has scored a lot of goals in this season but they are still fewer than Girona Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid. The team is also third in scoring among the eight Champions League leaders.
The spread of the goals across the team is both good and bad. Ferran Torres and Robert Lewandowski have scored eight goals each, while elsewhere there are 15 different players who have also netted. It is a problem that many players, especially midfielders, only have one or two goal.
A healthy number of goals scored by the midfield can be a good sign for any team. Fermin Lopez, Gavi, and Ilkay Gundogan each have two goals, while Pedri and Ilkay have one. Oriol Romeu, who arrived in the summer and has yet to score a goal, Frenkie De Jong only scored one so far this season due to injuries. Gundogan can’t match his 11-goal haul from last season for Manchester City.
Injury is a major factor, and this leads nicely into our next point.
Get a core that fits and is consistent
Xavi has had to cope with a few serious injuries so far in this season. These have mostly been midfield-related. Pedri, De Jong and others have been out of action for large chunks of this season. This is why they are scoring so little.
Pedri, Romeu, Gundogan, and Lopez are all fit. De Jong will also be available when domestic matches resume after the break.
Xavi must seriously consider which midfielder combination will best give Barca the chance to defend their La Liga title. Xavi must also hope that none of the players return injured to Catalonia.
Barca’s midfield has been very difficult to predict. This needs to be changed as the season progresses.
Barca’s ability to dominate every match, whether it is through their possession of the ball or by scoring a lot of goals, has been a characteristic associated with them for years. They are struggling this season to win by large margins, which suggests a lack in control during the 90-minute period.
Barca has only ever won three games in the entire season by more than one goal. These were 2-0 wins over Cadiz, and 5-0 wins over Real Betis and Royal Antwerp.
The only way they have won the league is by scoring a goal. This method of winning it cannot be sustained. In La Liga, they have drawn 3 games this year and never taken the lead in any of those matches. This suggests that they should work to improve their starting style.
Xavi could enjoy a few larger wins with a bigger squad, and more goals coming from his midfielders.