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Barcelona set their sights on Champions League glory


Barcelona set their sights on Champions League glory

Finishing second in La Liga and still being in the Champions League might be a good result for some football clubs. But Barcelona isn’t just any football club. It’s been a deeply inconsistent season at Camp Nou so far. Not only has Barcelona suffered a managerial change, but new players like Antoine Griezmann have failed to settle in a troubled squad.

As such, Barcelona will be working hard to ensure that they win the Champions League that resumes next week. Quique Setien’s team will have to first get past Napoli. Barcelona were initially held to a 1-1 draw against the Italian team in the first leg of the round of 16 matches that took place in February.

But five months later, we’ll get to see whether Barcelona have what it takes to claim their sixth Champions League title. It’s clear that Barca is desperate for a major success to add some sparkle to what’s been a largely indifferent season. Finishing five points adrift of Real Madrid in the La Liga title race simply isn’t good enough for a team of Barcelona’s stature.

Barcelona’s game against Napoli will take place on Saturday 8 August. The game will be held behind closed doors in Camp Nou. The lack of home fans shouldn’t harm Barcelona’s chances too much, especially as Napoli could only manage to reach a seventh place in the Serie A table. 

But there are still many unanswered questions as to what kind of Barcelona team we can expect to see what matchday comes around. Obviously Lionel Messi will be in sparkling form as he’s just picked up another Liga top scorer award, and even set up a record number of assists for the team.

However, it’s elsewhere in the Barcelona team where there remain unanswered questions. While youngsters like Ansu Fati are looking very promising, other recent signings such as the Dutch player Frenkie De Jong are still finding their feet. 

But it’s Antoine Griezmann who’s been having the hardest time in the new-look Barca squad. The forward was signed for a huge fee from Atletico Madrid last year, and is clearly having a difficult time in making the transition.

We’ve seen numerous rumours about the French star having training ground bust-ups with Messi, and Griezmann has notched up just nine goals in his 35 Barcelona appearances this year. In fact some of the most significant things that the forward did this year were off the pitch. 

Not content with being the subject of a Netflix documentary, Griezmann even entered the horse racing world by buying his own stallion. But don’t expect to see the French striker’s racehorses in the odds at
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anytime soon, as it seems as though Griezmann will feature heavily in Barcelona’s Champions League campaign. 

But even if Barcelona manage to get past Napoli, they still face a daunting prospect in the quarter-finals. This is because they could come up against Bayern Munich who are looking certain to get past Chelsea. Bayern are looking seriously in form at the moment with star striker Robert Lewandowski being especially goal hungry. 

Plus with the likes of Manchester City, Juventus and, of course, Real Madrid in their side of the Champions League draw, it seems that Barcelona are going to need to be back to their best to have any hope of getting more silverware this season.