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Barcelona head into a home Clasico as underdogs

Hardly ever happens

FC Barcelona v Dinamo Kiev - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Thank God for Gerard Pique.

On an instantly forgettable Champions League night, if it weren't for our centre-back, making a record-equalling appearance in the premier European competition for a defender, we could be staring elimination in the face.

Let’s not beat about the bush, that 90 minutes was yet another demonstration of just how poor Barcelona have become under Ronald Koeman.

Though Marc-Andre ter Stegen had little to do throughout the match, all it would’ve taken was a lack of concentration at one moment and Dynamo could’ve come away with a point.

That’s scandalous.

FC Barcelona v Dinamo Kiev - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Whether the blame lies solely at Koeman’s door or should be directed onto the players too is a moot point. We are where we are.

The lack of any sort of coherence to Barca’s play means that they head into El Clasico at the weekend as underdogs.

It’s a game that should at least put some fire in the bellies, and see the starting XI and any other players handed their chance give 100 percent.

The issue at hand is that there is such a dearth of confidence throughout the squad, that an early goal from Los Blancos will almost certainly see heads drop and make the remainder of the match a procession for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

A side who, in some matches, have also been pretty pathetic it must be said.

In Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, however, they do have two of La Liga’s form strikers and one has to fear for an expected central pairing of Pique and Eric Garcia.

The former has no speed to speak of though his nous should help us on occasion, whereas Garcia has only performed in fits and starts so far.

Can he step up in one of the biggest games of the campaign?

FC Barcelona v Dinamo Kiev - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Ansu Fati’s new contract is some wonderful news to lift the enveloping gloom, and at least there is always hope when he is on the pitch.

Having scored in the last Clasico he played, just before getting injured, another goal or two in this one would be more than welcomed.

Perhaps it’s fate that Aguero hasn’t yet scored but might get on the scoresheet against the biggest rivals from his Atleti days.

Clutching at straws? Perhaps. Being positive when seeing Barca in their current malaise on and off the pitch is difficult, but if we don’t have hope what is left?