This week, Barcelona will face off against FC Dallas in the third and final leg of the La Liga round of sixteen. Both teams are currently two points behind Barca, who have clinched first place in the league with eight games left to play. FC Dallas will hope to close the gap with a win. So what makes Barca so dominant at this point in the season?
With the arrival of Tata Martino as Barca coach, this season has been a remarkable one, with his side winning their first six games in a row, including their first El Clasico in decades. FC Dallas, on the other hand, has found a new spark in their attack. Fabian Castillo has come into form with four goals in his last five games, while Mauro Diaz, in a bit of a slump recently, has added to his haul of four goals in four games by finding the net in each game. Both of these players are part of a new and improved attack, which has allowed Barca to control proceedings from start to finish. Lionel Messi has also found a new level of form, scoring a hat trick against Granada, and is picking up a couple of assists too. Barca have the best player in the world in Lionel Messi.
The other star performer of this week’s game will be Argentinean winger Lionel Messi, who is currently second in the La Liga scoring charts after scoring against Levante on Sunday. Messi is currently only the second player to score a hat trick in three consecutive games, following former teammate David Villa’s feat of doing it in a row against Getafe. Messi is also only the third player in history to score four goals in a game, alongside Diego Maradona and Pele.
FC Dallas’ biggest threat might not even come from outside of their own side – or against FC Barcelona, for that matter. Dallas is only one point off Barca in the table but are one of the weakest sides in the league, having lost their last two matches and drawing the other. Lionel Messi might not have to worry about Dallas’ defense, as that team boasts the best defense in the league, but the rest of Dallas’ attack might be under threat from FC Barcelona newcomer, David Beckham, who’s been one of the best forwards in Europe so far this season.
Dallas defender, Matt Hedges, was born in Spain to a Mexican father and American mother, so he might be able to watch his beloved MLS team compete with FC Barcelona in this fixture. – but he might be even better suited playing in this match. for the national team than in terms of fitness, as he struggled to even make an appearance during the current national team cycle.
Another defender, Jason Hernandez, is also a Mexican-American, but played for Mexico in the last two World Cups. If there is a reason why FC Dallas fans are nervous about the Dallas defense this week, it could be because they were hoping they could see an MLS player up top – instead they’ll get FC Barcelona’s Brazilian-born Hulk. In the past, Houston Rockets star, Hakeem Olajuwon, once had a problem with injuries. He only played in one game for the Houston Rockets in the season but made a surprising return this week after recovering from knee surgery.
Barcelona, though, aren’t the only team to worry FC Dallas. Last week’s opponents, Real Sociedad, also have a strong attack, having won their past two matches and drawing their last one, despite the loss to Barca, while FC Dallas still has the best defense in the league. With three games left, Barca will probably need to be at least one point ahead to guarantee a playoff spot.
Barca might also need to win every match between now and the end of the season. With one point on the table, FC Barcelona would be second, right behind the Galaxy. They would need to beat either Deportivo La Coruna (on the final day) or Getafe (on the final Saturday) and hope that both Athletic Bilbao or Deportivo get past Levante. get past Levante, while getting a draw from either Celta Vigo or Sporting Gijon.