Any reasonable person would agree Barcelona are extremely content with life right now.
Sitting lovely 11 points clear at the highest point of La Liga and through to the Spanish Cup last, Ernesto Valverde’s group will be loaded with certainty when they head to Manchester United for the primary leg of the Champions League quarter-last on Wednesday.
Their most recent triumph was a well deserved 2-0 home win over closest group challengers Atletico Madrid on Saturday night, which did not come effectively but rather inevitably demonstrated precisely why Barca ought to be dreaded as they head to Old Trafford.
Messi and Suarez as good as can be expected?
A grand goalkeeping show by Atletico manager Jan Oblak hoped to have earned Atletico a point, yet then Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi chose enough was sufficient.
In the first place, with 85 minutes gone, the Uruguayan striker twisted a bubbling low strike into the base right corner from 20 yards. And after that, not to be beaten, Messi promptly included the second with a radiant solo hit which finished with a mesmerisingly quiet completion.
The terrible news for Manchester United is that Suarez and Messi have both been delivering those heroics all the time – actually, they had done as such only four days sooner, protecting a point at Villarreal with a couple recently strikes as Messi smashed home a free-kick and Suarez got a terrific volley.
Between them, they have scored 14 objectives in the last six recreations (10 for Messi, four for Suarez), with Messi taking his count for the season to 43 objectives in 40 diversions (he additionally has 17 helps).
Numerous onlookers trust this could so far be Messi’s best season yet, and the main genuine support for supposing he may be ‘in decay’ is in the event that you haven’t really watched him play.
Messi and Suarez work splendidly together, yet they are in no way, shape or form Barca’s solitary risk: Messi’s other most loved shrewd accomplice is full-back Jordi Alba, an ace of making very much coordinated darts into the crate onto Messi’s exact throughballs.
The unavoidable issue is who will go along with them in assault. Saturday’s starter was previous Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho, who turned into a casualty of one of Oblak’s incredible recoveries.
In any case, Coutinho has battled for a significant part of the period and would unquestionably be supplanted by Ousmane Dembele if the quick Frenchman was fit – which he may very well be on Wednesday night.
Another alternative open to Valverde is handling a 4-4-2 development with the midfield reinforced by veteran Chilean warhorse Arturo Vidal, who was suspended for Saturday’s gathering with Atletico however has regularly been chosen for defining moments this season.
Natural appearances and Arthur’s Xavi impression
Despite which shape Valverde picks, he can check upon a strong spine on account of the nearness of Marc-Andre ter Stegen in objective, Gerard Pique in the focal point of guard, and Arthur in midfield.
Ter Stegen didn’t have much opportunity to demonstrate his certifications on Saturday as Atletico’s danger was constrained to a couple of effectively spared endeavors from Antoine Griezmann, yet the German is a fine shot-plug who likewise fills in as the main line of assault with his incredible circulation abilities.
Before him, Pique has recouped from a moderate begin to the season to create a progression of magnificent shows throughout the most recent few months – his significance was underlined when he was refreshed from Tuesday’s outing to Villarreal and the guard quickly taken a gander adrift, yielding four objectives against a transfer compromised side.
The disclosure for Barca this season, and a player will’s identity new to many United fans, is Brazilian midfielder Arthur, a focal midfielder gobbled up from Gremio in the mid year.
In another manner, nonetheless, Arthur will look amazingly well-known regardless of whether you’ve never observed him, since his playing style looks somewhat like old ace Xavi.
Despite the fact that it’s a stretch to contrast anybody and such a symbol, Arthur especially plays out a similar capacity in the group and piles on comparable insights – in an outing to Valencia prior this season, the 22-year-old recorded the most elevated number of goes in a La Liga away amusement (135) since – you got it! – Xavi in 2012.