Barcelona have taken solace within the Champions League just lately whereas getting off to their worst begin to a La Liga season in nearly 20 years, leaving Ronald Koeman’s facet already underneath severe strain earlier than Saturday’s assembly with Actual Betis. The Catalans have taken simply eight factors from their first six matches in La Liga, failing to win any of their final 4 outings after drawing 1-1 away at 10-man Alaves within the Basque Nation final day trip. It’s their worst begin since 2002/03, a marketing campaign wherein they completed sixth, and they’re already 9 factors behind the leaders, Actual Sociedad, albeit with two video games in hand.
Barca are additionally eight factors adrift of reigning champions Actual Madrid they usually desperately want a consequence at dwelling to Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis with a visit to Atletico Madrid developing subsequent.
“The temper is healthier, there are new gamers, younger gamers who’re bringing dynamism to the group and the way in which we play,” insisted Gerard Pique after Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev, their third in three Champions League outings.
The emergence of the likes of Ansu Fati, who turned 18 final weekend, and fellow teenager Pedri does level to a brighter future, however Barca stay mired in disaster off the sector after the current resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“The membership proper now’s how it’s,” Pique mentioned. “It is in a strategy of many modifications that are needed. We would have liked to show issues round. It was apparent that we have been in decline and yearly we have been somewhat worse.
“We do not have a lot time, however we’d like it to enhance. There’s by no means a transition 12 months at Barcelona, however now a brand new president and board will are available and we are going to see modifications within the coming months.”
Within the meantime Koeman may even be hoping for Lionel Messi to point out one thing extra like his previous kind towards Betis, because the Argentine continues to be searching for his first purpose in open play this season.
He has only one league purpose to date, and leaving apart final season when he was injured in the beginning of the marketing campaign, it’s Messi’s personal worst begin in entrance of purpose in La Liga since 2005. Again then he was an 18-year-old simply breaking by means of.
Betis head to the Camp Nou in seventh place and their star man to date has been a former Barcelona participant: Catalan-born winger Cristian Tello has 4 targets to his title together with two in final week’s win over Elche.
Participant to observe: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
After a stunning mistake by stand-in Neto gifted Alaves a purpose final weekend, Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a welcome return between the posts for Barcelona towards Dynamo Kiev.
The German was making his first look of the season after a knee harm and starred as Barca beat the Ukrainians 2-1. Koeman will hope for extra of the identical from his primary within the weeks forward.
100 – Sergio Ramos scored his 100th purpose for Actual Madrid towards Inter within the Champions League in midweek, 55 along with his head in keeping with sports activities statisticians Opta. He has been on the membership since 2005.
4 – Lionel Messi has scored 4 targets this season, all of them from the penalty spot.
17 – At 17 years and 338 days, Yunus Musah turned Valencia’s youngest goal-scorer in La Liga this century when he netted towards Getafe final weekend. An England youth worldwide, he was referred to as as much as the total United States squad this week.
22 – Atletico Madrid’s present run of 22 video games unbeaten is their finest ever run with out shedding in La Liga.
Fixtures (Kick-offs GMT):
Elche v Celta Vigo (2000)
Huesca v Eibar (1300), Barcelona v Actual Betis (1515), Sevilla v Osasuna (1730), Atletico Madrid v Cadiz (2000)
Getafe v Villarreal (1300), Actual Sociedad v Granada (1515), Levante v Alaves, Valladolid v Athletic Bilbao (each 1730), Valencia v Actual Madrid (2000)
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