The Catalan Giants finished last season with the La Liga and Copa del Rey titles despite a stumble in form towards the end of the campaign.
Led by the fearsome MSN triumvirate, the Camp Nou outfit began the season on a high note, hoping to defend their treble successfully and set an excellent record.
Real Madrid ended a 39-game unbeaten streak, and it all fell apart for Barcelona from that moment. A 2nd-leg loss to Atletico in the Champions League quarterfinal game ended their European title defence, while further League losses to Real Sociedad and Valencia took the race for the La Liga trophy to the very last match of the season.
After securing a spot in the Copa del Rey finals with Sevilla, a tough regulation time encounter ended goalless and with Barcelona having a man less following Mascherano’s dismissal. However, goals from Jordi Alba and Neymar gave the 10-man Barca their 28th Copa del Rey title.
Ahead of the new season, there has been a buzz in the summer market for the Spanish giants, with the arrivals of Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes signalling a major squad beef up, while Kevin Gameiro is also said to be on his way in the coming days.
Preparing for the new campaign seems to be going well for the club, and here are 4 things we can expect from them when action resumes properly on August 20.
The exits and arrivals should bring a slight change in the starting 11 for next season. However, judging by the players certain to be at Luis Enrique’s disposal, this is how a typical Barcelona 4-3-3 formation could go.
ALBA. PIQUE. UMTITI. SERGI ROBERTO
BUSQUETS. RAKITIC. INIESTA
NEYMAR. SUAREZ. MESSI
There are still doubts over the futures of Mascherano, Adriano, Arda Turan and Ter stegen, while we should see the likes of Gomes, Denis and the incoming Gameiro feature as regular substitutes.
Less Dependence on MSN
The attacking trio experienced a dip in form towards the tail end of the last term, and that has prompted the club to go in search of additions for the attacking third.
It is believed that Turan might take up a forward role if he remains at the Nou Camp following the club’s recruitment of two more midfielders.
Gameiro will also help reduce Suarez’s goalscoring burden, while the young Munir could get more playing time to continue his development.
Another Shot at the Treble
Barcelona wants to win every available trophy every other season, and the hunger will be much more next season.
They still have one of best squads in Spain and Europe, and will go all out to do everything in their power to win all the local and Champions League titles.
Given that they have secured the future of Neymar with a new and improved deal, the Brazil skipper will hope to put up a better performance to impress the club’s management and make a statement as far as winning a Ballon d’Or trophy someday goes.
More Arrivals from LA Masia And Barca B
Although the famous club academy is yet to produce players that look set to follow in the footsteps of the Xavi, Iniesta and Messi, nevertheless, a handful of the youngsters in the reserve and youth grade teams will get to experience a taste of senior team football next season.
The likes of Gumbau, Grimaldo and Sergi Samper have been included in Barcelona’s pre-season plan and will be hoping to make an impression to boost their chances of getting playing time under Enrique.