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Keys to the Game: Barcelona vs Athletic

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Keys to the Game: Barcelona vs Athletic Keys to the Game: Barcelona vs Athletic

Keys to the Game: Barcelona vs Athletic






Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

An opportunity to show that reports of Barcelona?s demise were greatly exaggerated The Spanish Supercopa matters this year more than ever for Barcelona.
Think back to last year. The Copa del Rey, a tournament Barca usually dominates, was a big disappointment after getting knocked out by Athletic Bilbao 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
La Liga was theirs to win, but after a few bad results in the return to play, Real Madrid pulled ahead in the table and never looked back.
Barcelona are only in the tournament because of the expanded four-team format. This is an opportunity the team needs to take advantage of.
Symbolically, a trophy could be the perfect medicine for the club?s damaged psyche. They may have failed in spectacular fashion in 2020, but the optics of raising silverware in the first month of 2021 could set a winning tone for the new year.
Barcelona are in great form, but they are also digging out of a hole in La Liga. Going on a winning streak is the only way to stay competitive. The Supercopa final is fuel for that fire.
Standing in their way is another tough and proud Basque team in Athletic Bilbao. Barca will need a complete performance from players and the manager alike in order to get the job done.
Athletic riding high after convincing semi-final win

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Both semi-final matches were thrilling.
Athletic looked energized and motivated to take down Real Madrid, thus preventing the world from seeing a Clasico final. Barcelona will be familiar with this Athletic team since they last met a few weeks ago. On that day, Barca played one of their best games in a 3-2 comeback victory.
It was also Athletic?s first game with new manager Marcelino.
Barca shouldn?t forget how fired up Athletic was to start the game with the always dangerous Iñaki Williams scoring on the counter-attack in the opening minutes. Marcelino is an animated manager, and his players are starting to play in his image.
Against Real Madrid, you saw a dangerous and creative attacking team with a variety of weapons. You also saw a team capable of defending a lead as Real Madrid spent the entire second half bombarding the defensive line, ending the game with 21 shots but only one goal.
Williams is still the first player to account for. Barcelona knows what he?s capable of, especially if they choose to play with a high defensive line.
Raul Garcia is the second forward in their 4-4-2 formation, and he showed his quality in the semi-final, scoring two goals in the first half.
For my money, Iker Muniain is the player Barcelona should worry the most about. The diminutive attacking midfielder never stops causing problems and creating opportunities. He put a goal past Barcelona the last time around, and seems cut from the Marcelino cloth.
Rounding out the team you have a midfield tandem of the young Unai Vencedor and the experienced Óscar...


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Fuente de la noticia: barcablaugranes
Fecha de publicación: 17-01-2021 19:52
visto: 526

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