Barcelona’s new regime will face a huge test on Saturday as Quique Setién looks to continue his winning start when his side travels to Valencia for a difficult test. The top of La Liga remains a dead heat between Barca and Real Madrid with only a two goal difference separating the teams. Every result is crucial now that the second half of the season is here. Any slip up now could be fatal in the race for the title.
How to Watch:
When: Saturday, January 25
Time: 10:00 a.m. ET
TV: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
The first look for Barcelona under Setién was a mixed bag. On one hand it took 76 minutes and a red card to Granada for Lionel Messi to get the only goal of the match in the win. So, the attacking production hasn’t exactly skyrocketed yet. However, signs of the beautiful style of play that’s expected of Barca began revealing itself. The move which created Messi’s winner was a flowing and intricate one that would’ve made Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff proud. It may take some time for adjustments for both the manager and the team, but the early signs are positive that this huge decision by the Barca brass was the right one.
Still, there are issues that remain. The biggest one is finding out what the Blaugrana’s best attacking three will be without Luis Suarez. While Messi is the sun and the stars for Barcelona, Suarez was the guy you could count on for the big goals when all the attention turned to the Argentine superstar. With Suarez out for the season, the onus falls on Antoine Griezmann to figure out how to fit into the system. The Frenchman has struggled to consistently make an impact since his big money move from Atletico Madrid. If he continues to be unreliable in the second half of the season, it could spell big trouble.