After 26 matches, Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga and are looking to regain the title from Atletico Madrid at the first time of asking. Barca are firing on all cylinders, and the combination of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar up front is starting to come together. Meanwhile, they are a formidable force defensively and boast an impermeable unit that has been unlocked just 16 times this year. We take a look at this Blaugrana outfit and evaluate their chances of winning a 23rd Spanish top flight championship, while also comparing Barca’s trio in attack to Real Madrid’s front three of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona certainly stand an excellent chance of regaining the La Liga title this year, particularly as Real Madrid are currently faltering in the second half of the season. Unlike the Camp Nou outfit, Real have returned from the winter break in sluggish form – losing to Athletic Bilbao in their most recent league match, as well as an embarrassing 4-0 thrashing by neighbours Atletico Madrid. Their head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, is under severe pressure due to their poor displays in the league and their unconvincing victory over Schalke in the Champions League. On the other hand, Luis Enrique has answered his critics by guiding Barcelona to the top of the table after a slow start.
Meanwhile, Barca have won eight out of their last nine league matches by an aggregate score of 35-8 – a staggering achievement. Offensively, they have started to dominate other sides in recent weeks and with Lionel Messi scoring for fun once again, the rest of La Liga need to come up with a solution on how to stop this juggernaut of an attack. In 2015 alone, Messi has scored 18 goals in all competitions, averaging 1.1 goals per game in the calendar year. During the year, the Argentine forward has also broke Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra’s record tally of 23 hat-tricks in the Spanish top flight – Messi now has 24.
Furthermore, summer signing Luis Suarez and Neymar are starting to gel, forming a deadly trio on either side of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner. Between the three, they have scored 40 goals in La Liga already this campaign – which is more than 14 of the other 19 teams in Spain’s top division. Many in the media have already started comparing the threat of Suarez, Neymar and Messi to Bale, Benzema and Cristiano (BBC), although Neymar was recently quoted as claiming they were better than the Madrid strikeforce.
With just 12 matches remaining, Blaugrana are well placed to win their 23rd Spanish top flight title. The form guide suggests that they deserve their current favourite status, and it would certainly take a brave man to go against Barcelona when betting on La Liga this season. If the Barça defence continue to shut opponents down while Messi, Neymar and Suarez continue at their current strike rate, it would be no surprise to see the Catalan giants go unbeaten for the remainder of the campaign.