There are a few reasons that can be given as to why Barcelona could well end this season without an addition to their trophy cabinet.
It is currently 6/1 that Barca win La Liga and they have four points to make up on Atletico Madrid with as many games remaining.
An even shorter starting line-up than in previous years has made them more susceptible to conceding from set pieces and Tata Martino doesn’t seem to have learnt tactically how to tinker with his side in big games.
He rarely tries to adjust and almost just hopes that the 11 players on the field work out a way of carving open the opposition.
In a way this ties in with Cesc Fabregas, who is the player that inadvertently is proving most tricky to accommodate.
What has to be asked is whether Fabregas is good enough to be causing two other world-class players to be utilised in less-deadly positions and causing another to be a bit-part substitute?
By playing Fabregas, Andres Iniesta is stationed on the left, which in turn leaves Barca narrow as he drifts infield to influence play.
Neymar is switched to the right, where he is less effective at dribbling and cutting inside to trouble defenders. Then Alexis Sanchez or Pedro, who present the problem of running in behind from wide positions, are reduced to appearances from the bench.
By dropping Fabregas, Martino could employ Iniesta, Neymar and Sanchez in their favoured positions (well at least until the end of the season when Sanchez is looking increasingly likely to join Juventus).
But the big question is whether Fabregas should also be cut loose to raise funds?
In the slightly longer term, allowing him to take over from Xavi in the heartbeat of the midfield alongside Iniesta would appear the logical move, although it is debateable whether he can run a game in the same way.
In reality, his higher-tempo game is better suited to the Premier League than Spain and a return to Arsenal would look ideal, who often lack midfield runners getting in advance of Olivier Giroud.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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