5 reasons Barcelona won't reach the UEFA Champions League final in 2018
Is Barcelona as invincible as their surreal domestic campaign would have us believe? Perhaps not
Unbeaten in La Liga with just 9 games left to play. Just 1 loss this season in all competitions, a loss which meant little because Barcelona still won the second leg of the tie and proceeded to the next round. 11 point lead at the top in La Liga and 15 points clear of the mighty Real Madrid.
Barcelona is the favorite bet among bookmakers to lift the UCL trophy come May. The feeling has only been reinforced after the Quarter Final draw, with Barca handed a relatively easy tie against Roma. With the La Liga safely wrapped up and the Copa Del Rey final to come in April, Barcelona are widely mooted to win the treble.
Yet, are things at Camp Nou as perfect as seems to be the case? Will Barcelona really stroll past all opposition and claim their sixth European Cup?
Maybe not. Here are 5 reasons why Barcelona won’t reach the Champions League Final:
#5 Lack of squad depth
“Okay, my team is struggling. We are a goal down and look short of ideas. I will bring on Andre Gomes or Paco Alcacer and he will completely change the game for us.”
Said no UEFA Champions League-winning manager ever.
Despite possessing a strong first eleven, Barcelona lack formidable options off the bench. Coutinho’s unavailability for UCL matches complicates the plot further, increasing the pressure on 33-year-old Iniesta to consistently keep himself fit.
Luis Enrique’s Barcelona fell short of Zidane’s Real precisely because they lacked the kind of options Real could call on to change a game. Now with the departure of James and Morata, Real are facing the same issue.
Till now Barca have masterfully circumnavigated any problems their shallow squad could have caused, but it remains likely that they could be exposed at some stage.