With the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, club football has well and truly returned. From the Southwest corner of Europe with the Spanish La Liga to off the Northwestern coast of the continent in the English Premier League, football is back. However, as time was taken from within the usual calendar to accompany the World Cup, the schedule ahead for FC Barcelona is one that is quite taxing, both physically and mentally.
Across three different competitions, FC Barcelona will face opponents for 3 varying domestic campaigns. Moving forward, they face Atletico Madrid in La Liga Santander, Real Betis in the semi-finals of the Spanish Supercup as well as then being eligible to face the winner of the other semi-final should they win themselves, just 3 days later. Lastly, they face third-division side AD Ceuta in the Copa Del Ray Round of 16.
Sunday, 08th January 2023:
The beginning of this 10-day cluster for the Catalans will begin with them facing Atletico Madrid in Matchday 16 of La Liga Santander. They travel to Madrid to face Diego Simeone’s resilient side in the Metropolitano. The league leaders in Barcelona will be hoping to take all 3 points against the 4th placed team in Spain, as it is pivotal to their very own title challenge.
Thursday, 12th January 2023:
Following their clash in La Liga, FC Barcelona will then travel to Saudi Arabia for their Spanish Supercup semi-final clash against Real Betis. Planned to be played in Riyadh, this game represents Barcelona’s earliest shot at a title this season, and they will thus be hoping to go all out for Xavi’s first shot at official silverware.
Sunday, 15th January 2023:
If Barcelona are able to emerge as victors against Betis on Thursday, they would then go on to face either one of Valencia or Real Madrid in the final on Sunday, in what would indefinitely be a tight affair either way. Barca’s El Clasico rivals from Madrid themselves will be coming into this tournament guns blazing, so an eye should be kept out on their progress simultaneously.
Wednesday, 18th January 2023:
Lastly, La Blaugrana will visit the Estadio Alfonso Murube to face AD Ceuta in the Copa Del Ray Round of 16, another title that Xavi’s men will be going all out for. It would not be a surprise to see the manager field as strong a team as he possibly can in this game, while simultaneously keeping in mind that his players would be needing rest following a hectic 7 days prior to it.
Arguably a very arduous task itself, these 10 days ahead will test Barcelona’s mettle, unlike anything before in terms of retaining consistency. However, in regards to the quality at Xavi’s disposal, as long as it is able to take the chances presented to it and improve on prior setbacks, they should be raring to have a go at this daring endeavor.