Barcelona are heading into the Supercopa de Espana in good form and full of beans, led by a smiling Lionel Messi who’s managed to build a network with some of the Blaugrana’s more talented youngsters like Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele.
They’re playing so well that, for Marca, they’re favourites to win the forthcoming competition outright, better-placed than Real Madrid, Real Sociedad or Athletic Club. The paper have given eight reasons they believe the Blaugrana should be considered favourites to win in Andalusia.
First is the streak of results the Catalans are on, winning away at Huesca, Athletic Club Bilbao and Granada this past week. Second is the performances of Messi, who’s started 2021 in the quickest manner since 2016, scoring four goals.
Third is Ronald Koeman‘s embrace of 4-3-3, a system he was hesitant to use earlier in his reign. He’s changed, and the Blaugrana are humming significantly more fluidly than they were. Fourth is the partnership Messi and Pedri have developed – the Argentine seems to consider him a kindred spirit, and could perhaps mentor him as Ronaldinho did for him years ago.
Fifth is the performances of the centre-backs. Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza have performed with superb consistency despite their youth, proving lean, mean and exactly what Barcelona need. Sixth is the form of Dembele. The French winger has been like a new signing since he’s returned from the latest in a series of injuries.
Seventh is the fact that they’re taking their chances where earlier in the season they were more profligate. Eighth is that La Real have been on a poor run of form in recent times, winning just one out of their last 12. Barcelona face them in the semi-final.