When Lionel Messi is not playing the way he can, Barcelona is in trouble. It has been like that for more than a decade. The Argentine seems to be far from the Nou Camp, so it is not surprising that the Catalans stumbled this season in the Primera.
As many as four defeats in 11 rounds are too much for the championship ambitions of Ronald Koeman's team, Barcelona used to have fewer defeats for the entire championship than now for just over a quarter of the championship.
Still, things can be fixed. Madrid's giants, Real and Atletico, also failed. The surprising leader is Sociedad, which is visiting the Nou Camp today (21.00). This match could be a turning point for Messi and others. With a victory, they would have a chance to be at the top of the table, a defeat or just a point would further distance the former champion of Spain and Europe from the fight for the title.
Koeman's team beat only Villarreal from the teams that are in the top part of the table, in the first round when it was a convincing 4-0. The Dutch expert cannot count on the seriously injured Gerard Pique and Ansu Fati.
Sergio Roberto and Ousmane Dembele are also out. The Basque club slows down a bit after the furious start of the season. The San Sebastian team has three draws in a row. They were defeated only once in this championship of Spain, at home by Valencia (0: 1).
On the road, four wins, two draws, and only two goals conceded. In the previous two matches outside Anoeta, Sociedad did not concede a goal. The guests arrive in Barcelona without two key players, the injured creator of the game David Silva and the striker Mikel Oyarzabal.
Illarmendi has been out of the team since the beginning of the season. The tradition of matches at the Nou Camp is absolutely on the side of Barca, which won against blue and whites from San Sebastian in the Primera or the King's Cup 25 times in a row.
Sociedad took a point in Barcelona 25 years ago. Tonight, Messi will have the opportunity to equal Pele's record for the number of goals for one club. The famous Brazilian scored 643 goals for Santos from 1956 to 1974, and the Argentine reached the number of 642 goals in three years less, as well as in a smaller number of games - 744: 757.
The series began on May 1, 2005, against Albacete, when Gauchos was only 17 years old.
UEFA Champions League 2020/2021
The draw of the last-16 is complete, and the big-match will be between FC Barcelona and PSG: Lionel Messi against Neymar Jr.
Real Madrid CF will face Atalanta Bergamasca, while Bayern Munich will be with SS Lazio. Liverpool FC with RB Leipzig and Chelsea FC with Club Atletico de Madrid. Benevolent draw for Juventus FC which will face Porto. The match between Barcelona and PSG stands out among others.
Guardiola's City will face Thuram jr's Borussia Moenchengladbach, Liverpool's fearsome RB Leipzig. Great show also in Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea. The latest match is between Sevilla FC and BVB Borussia Dortmund. The seeded teams will play the second leg at home.
The first matches of the round of 16 are scheduled for 16, 17, 23, and 24 February, with the return matches on 9, 10, 16 and 17 March. The draw for the quarter, semi-final and final will take place on March 19th. The Last-16 ATALANTA BERGAMASCA vs REAL MADRID CF SEVILLE FC vs BVB BORUSSIA DORTMUND BARCELONA FC vs PSG PORT o vs JUVENTUS FC RB LEIPZIG vs LIVERPOOL FC CLUB ATLETICO DE MADRID vs FC CHELSEA SS LAZIO vs FC BAYERN MONACO BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH vs MANCHESTER CITY