Wednesday evening sees Real Madrid and Barcelona face each other in one of the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals.
A Clasico is always a game worth watching, although Los Blancos go into this one as the heaviest of favourites.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are waltzing through La Liga at a canter, whilst Xavi Hernandez is having to negotiate one hurdle after another for the Catalans.
Behind the scenes at the Camp Nou, Joan Laporta and his board are believed to be feverishly trying to offload more first-team stars in order that Xavi can have a settled squad and a much better chance of success.
Though La Liga may be out of the question, the Europa League remains a possibility, as does the Spanish Super Cup if Real take the game lightly.
One of the areas where Barca need to excel of course is up front. This season, without Lionel Messi to dig them out of a hole, the Blaugranes have really struggled to find the back of the net.
So much so that there’s one incredible stat that really shows the gulf in class between the two teams at present.
According to a tweet from the ESPN FC account, Barcelona as a team have scored just 35 goals in 2021/22, well below their normal output.
Benzema and Vinicius have scored more goals this season than the entire Barcelona squad combined ? pic.twitter.com/m3ywucMc4d
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 9, 2022
By contrast, Real Madrid strikers, Karim Benzema and Vinicius, have scored more between themselves than the entire Barca side.
It’s a damning indictment as to where Barcelona are at, at the moment, and brings into sharp focus the size of the job in hand for Xavi and Laporta.