Barcelona have made a poor start to their domestic campaign. They are currently 7th in La Liga after their first nine games of the season.
The Catalan side have made their worst start to a league campaign in nearly 20 years and are now 10 points off Real Sociedad – the surprise leaders in the 2020/21 campaign.
The last time Barcelona made a start similar to their domestic campaign was in 2002/03; widely considered the worst season in the club’s history. At the end of the 2002/03 season, Barcelona finished sixth in La Liga and 22 points behind Real Madrid.
Despite their slow start, Barcelona have shown some signs of recovery in recent weeks. But will they have enough to mount a serious title challenge as the season progresses?
Barcelona’s results in the early stages in the season were surprising. October proved a tough month for Ronal Koeman’s side as they lost two, drew two and won just once throughout the month.
Back to back losses to Getafe and Real Madrid in mid-October left Barcelona adrift while they could not recover in their following match, a 1-1 draw against ten-man Deportivo Alaves.
Things improved slightly in November for Koeman’s side. They won two and lost one of their three games this month. However, there was another blip against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who defeated Barca 1-0 two weeks ago.
Since this result, Barca have put together a three-match winning streak in all competitions, kept three clean sheets and scored 11 goals. The likes of Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann have shown promising signs of form, contributing to eight goals in the last three matches.
Looking ahead at Barcelona’s upcoming fixtures in December, it could be a make or break period for the Catalan club and their potential title challenge.
Koeman’s side face 6th placed Cadiz this weekend, who they could overtake with a victory, and they host leaders Real Sociedad later in December.
However, the majority of Barcelona’s matches are against teams below them in the table in December including relegation candidates Levante and Real Valladolid.
Another positive is that four of Barcelona’s six fixtures in the next month will take place at the Nou Camp. The team has performed a lot better at home this season, winning 10 of their 14 points at the Nou Camp.
If Barcelona want to keep chase in La Liga, they have to win more or less every game throughout December to get back into a challenging position in the league.
A favourable fixture list in the upcoming month plays in their favour. However, as we have already seen this season, Barcelona do not seem to be the fearsome team of years past and they have dropped a lot of points against teams they should be beating. It’s this compounding evidence that is leading a lot of bookmakers on sites like bettingonline.co.uk/bookmakers-promotions-bonuses/ to speculate that Barcelona are unlikely to win La Liga this season unless they produce a long winning streak in the coming months. However, with so much ground to gain already, a title challenge already appears out of their grasp for 2020/21.