The Champions League Draws have been made, FC Barcelona have been drawn alongside Juventus, Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros. On the surface, this looks like an exceedingly easy draw, and it should be, but this is football, surprises are only a fraction of a second away. In this article, we will examine the worst possible scenario and the best possible scenario for Barça in this year’s UEFA Champions League Group Stage.
In the last years, the team’s ventures in Europe have been nothing short of disastrous, Rome, Anfield, Lisbon. It’s been completely downhill since the Remontada, and they just might have traded years of joy in Europe for a stupendously crazy night, but that’s just a theory though. Let us evaluate the possibilities that could arise in this season’s Champions League adventure for Barcelona.
Worst Possible scenario
Let us begin with what would constitute the worst possible that Barça could get out of this year’s group stages. It is worth noting that Barça are usually effective in the group stages but everything goes wrong in the knockout stages. So, if things were to go wrong in the group stages this year, then it couldn’t be worse than what would be described shortly.
Juventus are an intriguing opponent; you don’t really know what to expect from Andre Pirlo and his team. An unknown quantity, not something that is ideal for anyone. Preparations may be hampered and not done effectively. But that’s by the way, Juventus’ involvement in Barça’s worst possible scenario would be losing both games home and away to the Old Lady, a loss at the Camp Nou would be the first in Europe in years. But that’s the worst possible case. Two losses to Juventus, would be the first part, then dropping points away to Dynamo Kiev and beating them at the Camp Nou would be the other part. Beating Ferencvaros in both legs is the least that would be expected of Barça, even in the worst possible scenario.
All of this should leave Barça with 10 points, 6 from Ferencvaros, 4 from Dynamo Kiev and 0 from Juventus. That would be the worst possible group stage campaign Barça could have, and it should still be enough to earn them second place. No where in the world is it tolerable for Barça to finish in 3rd. Barça don’t do Europa League football. Not even in the worst possible scenario.
Best Possible scenario
And now to the what would be the best possible way to go through the group stages this year. It is pretty much straightforward; Barça win all their games and concede no goals. Is that outrageous? Maybe, but Van Gogh would like the picture being painted here. Blazing through the whole group would be the ideal, 3-0 wins at home to every opponent, well Ferencvaros could be more, marginal win in Turin, massive wins away in Kiev and Ferencvaros. That should leave Ronald Koeman and his men with 18 points and comfortably 1st, and there’s the fear that would come with a matchup against Barça for any team in the Knockout stages, fear usually is the precursor to defeat. So, the best possible scenario is 6 magnificent matches where each team is effectively beaten.
There is a scenario we can expect and it will be outlined shortly, with no suspense. We can expect this team to beat Juventus at the Camp Nou, drop points away either drawing or losing the game in injury time, that would be cruel, but reality often is. They should however beat both Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros home and away. Without much fuss. 15+ points would be the most realistic expectation from the team for this year’s group stage. It should be said that football is a crazy topsy-turvy game where anything can happen, wait, seems like it’s already been said. They say expectations are the prerequisite for disappointment, well, maybe not a lot of people say that, but there is some truth to be found in there. This year’s campaign only becomes disappointing if the expectations cannot be met. Let’s hope that is not the case.