Analyzing Barcelona's chances of winning the UCL

Analyzing Barcelona’s chances of winning the UCL

Thanks to their back-to-back UEFA Champions League group stage exits and their many structural issues, Barcelona have lost their fear factor. Not even in the league are they seen as serious threats anymore, which means the club’s players now have to dig deep to produce results.

Xavi Hernandez’s two-and-a-half seasons has been a period of slow rebuild and even though they have not recovered their fear factor, there are genuine reasons why the Catalan giants could do well this season, especially in the UCL.

In the following sections, we will take a look at their chances in this season’s competition.

History is behind Barcelona

In the 21st century, Barcelona has failed to get out of the round of 16 stage only once. This happened in the anomalous 2020/21 season.

Football was still recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life as we know it in the middle of the 2019/20 season. Barcelona began to develop structural issues and those issues translated into their on-pitch performances.

They faced Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 and lost embarrassingly to the French giants. Kylian Mbappe produced his finest Champions League performance to date in that tie, outshining even Lionel Messi who was still at Barcelona.

The events of that anomalous season point to the fact that the Blaugrana only suffered a hiccup. They have not made it past the group stage since then thanks to the fallout from that period. Now that they have, they have done so while showing that they are still a big team that needs to be feared.

The recovery of their fear factor still has some way to go, however, but it is now certain that they are competing for the title.

Number six is in their sights. But can they do it?

Napoli have never gotten the better of Barcelona

Barcelona vs Napoli tickets for their clash on 12 March 2024 have sold out on both clubs’ websites. As a result, fans are looking to ticket resellers to be able to attend the game live. Trusted ticket resellers like have Barcelona tickets on sale.

Fans looking to watch this game are sure to be treated to a spectacle. Barcelona has not played the most exciting football in recent times, but the individual quality in the side has kept people in their seats. This, coupled with Xavi’s “new” coaching has helped them slowly build up their threat levels.

Napoli happens to be in their line of fire once more but the Partenopei fans are well aware that history is not on their side in this tie.

Their last meeting in the UCL ended in a 4 – 2 aggregate, with the first leg in Italy ending 1 – 1. The second leg in Barcelona ended 3 – 1. Xavi will look to repeat that result on 12 March. Including those fixtures, Barça also has a 5 – 1 head-to-head win record over the 2022/23 Scudetto winners in all their meetings.

Taking all things into account, Barcelona are expected to advance against the struggling reigning Italian Champions and will fancy their chances of doing just that. However, the Catalans must be careful though, with a certain Victor Osimhen already starting to hit form post-AFCON.

The Nigerian forward already scored against Barcelona in Italy and if he maintains his scoring form going into this fixture, it could be trouble for the La Liga outfit.

All roads lead to the quarter-final for the five-time Champions League winners.

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Barcelona’s threats to the title

Barcelona are dark horses in this year’s tournament. Alongside Arsenal, 2022/23 finalists Inter Milan and Lazio, who are taking a 1 – 0 first-leg lead into their second-leg clash with Bayern Munich, are making a case for a brand new winner to emerge.

Barcelona used to be one of six teams who were always considered title favorites in the last 15 seasons. Alongside Man City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG.

From this group, Liverpool are not in this season’s tournament and Bayern looks out of sorts. The real challengers are Madrid and Man City.

For Barcelona to make it past the quarter-finals, they will have to avoid either of these teams. They stand a better chance against their fellow dark horses, Bayern, PSG, and either PSV or Dortmund, who are the filler teams for this season’s knockout rounds, with all due respect.

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All for Xavi

It might not make much of a difference in the outcome of the season, but Barcelona’s players intend to leave it all on the line for Xavi.

The former midfield maestro came back to help his boyhood club, whom he captained to their last Champions League win in 2015, in the middle of the 2021/22 season. He has finally been able to steady the ship and has announced he will be leaving after the season ends.

The players have all made peace with his shocking decision after trying to change his mind. Now, they are determined to send him off as a winner.

Winning two trophies in two-and-a-half seasons is no small feat, but winning a Champions League will do wonders for his career. It will also be the ultimate appreciation of his efforts.

Xavi was also seen as a failure for their performance in last season’s Champions League. The players have taken the blame and now that they have the chance to rectify it, they will be giving their all.

These circumstances will make them a tough team to beat in the rest of the tournament after they scale through Napoli.

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