Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed what everyone already knew on Saturday when he announced that Barcelona‘s objective for the season was to win the treble.
LaLiga Santander has already been taken care of, and now the attention will turn towards the Champions League and then the Copa del Rey.
Nobody at the club wants to put pressure on the players, but their performances all season have made their intentions clear and we’ve taken a look at what Ernesto Valverde should keep in mind as he looks to win on all fronts.
Barcelona have shown that they’re tough to beat this season and they are the only team in Europe’s final four to make it there without losing a single game in the competition, and even scoring against them has proven to be difficult.
Another key to their season has been that the Argentine has been rotated like never before. Valverde has given the No.10 time off to keep him fresh, and he’s made the difference so many times already. Injuries aside, there has never been an April in which Messi has sat out so many games before this year.
The Brazilian has been inconsistent, to say the least, this season. Most of his performances have fallen below expectation given his status as the club’s most expensive signing. But in recent weeks he has shown signs of improvement, just in time to take on his former club, Liverpool.
Valencia are no small rival, and the Copa is important if they want to complete their treble. Marcelino‘s side need to be respected, and nothing can be taken for granted ahead of the trip to the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
On Wednesday Barcelona will play their most important home game of the season against Liverpool in what will be their last big home match of the campaign. The Camp Nou will need to push their players on and try to be the 12th man.
Valverde has learnt from Rome that every game is a battle, and nothing can be written off as done until it is. An advantageous start to a game or tie means nothing unless it is seen out.
Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele can swap between themselves, while Arturo Vidal and Nelson Semedo offer depth, too.
Marcelino‘s side are one of the teams who can prevent the Catalans from getting their hands on a treble, but Los Che themselves can’t switch off in LaLiga Santander and will be going all-out to qualify for Europe via the Europa League semi-finals before the Copa del Rey final.
Seven of Barcelona‘s starting XI have played in a Champions League semi-final before, and those same players have also played in a final. These are the players who can lead the rest forward.