It is touch and go whether the new manager of FC Barcelona will get his wish and complete the capture of the player who was reported to be right at the top of his transfer wish list this summer, because the English Premier League club Arsenal are very keen to keep hold of their Spanish right back Hector Bellerin for at least one more season and although The Mirror is reporting that the Spanish press is confident it will happen I personally am not..
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There is no doubt that the fans of FC Barcelona will look on the season just gone as a poor one, despite the fact that the players managed to send the outgoing manager Luis Enrique off with the Copa Del Rey to add to his list of trophy successes.
The fact that great rivals Real Madrid added a 12th Champions League to the rare La Liga title will really hurt and the new manager Ernesto Valverde is well aware of this having played for the club, so it is no surprise that he has begun with some strong words to declare his intention of winning everything next season.
Even if things go as expected in Spain for the remaining fixtures still to be played in La Liga this season, FC Barcelona will still have a chance of some silverware for the Nou Camp fans to celebrate, and with the Copa Del Rey final being against Alaves, the Catalan club are huge favourites to lift the trophy on May 27th.
Barcelona’s Ticket Prices Fare Well vs English Counterparts
A recent graphic published by sports bookmaker Paddy Power has revealed that Barcelona are among the cheapest in Europe’s top leagues.
The cheapest season ticket found at Camp Nou this season was sold for a mere £116 with only Portuguese giants FC Porto (£88) and Swedish Allsvenskan side IFK Göteborg (£89).
In comparison, the English Premier League, renowned for its quality, is also well-known for having some of the priciest football tickets in the world.
The Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has called for video goal line technology to be introduced into Spanish football, as it has been in the English Premier League, after his side were denied a clear goal in their last league match against Real Betis at the weekend, Sky Sports has reported.
The Catalan club did end up rescuing a draw from the match but losing another two points while the leaders Real Madrid won to stretch their lead at the top to four points with a game in hand seems to me to have ended any realistic chance of Barca winning the title, although you will get very good odds on them now.
There is no doubt that FC Barcelona have not been their usual brilliant and ruthless selves this season. With an early La Liga defeat at home to lowly Alaves, followed a month later by a loss against Celta Vigo, and with draws against title rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, we saw Luis Enrique’s team struggle to stay in touch at the top.
Even though Barca produced a fine display at the weekend to beat local rivals Espanyol, bringing them within three points of the league leaders, we must remember that Real Madrid have a game in hand to play because of their trip to the Club World Cup. So you might think that the odds of Barcelona retaining the Spanish title of 2.75 are about right (Courtesy of CrownBet).
One of the reasons that many have put forward for the reason why Barcelona have beemn struggling in La Liga this season and head into this El Clasico clash with fierce rivals Real Madrid six points ahead in the Spanish league table is the number of injury problems to key players that Luis Enrique has been forced to deal with.
So the Barca boss will be delighted to be able to welcome Andres Iniesta back into the match day squad, even if the midfield star is not going to be risked from the start after five weeks out of action. Enrique can turn to Iniesta if needed and that could be a massive boost.
I suppose it was not too much of a surprise to see Luis Enrique and the Barcelona players struggle this weekend, as we were playing away against one of Barca’s bogey teams Real Sociedad. In fact you could say that we were fortunate to get anything from the match at the Anoeta because we were outplayed for large parts of the game, had to come from behind and needed a questionable offside call to stop the home team going ahead again.