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Barcelona are creating chances - they’re just not finishing them

It’s a big reason for the recent struggles

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

FC Barcelona are not in great form. They’re winless in three matches and have dropped points in the league and in the UEFA Champions League too frequently as of late.

While the team has several issues, including poor defending, one of the key problems is a lack of goals. But that lack of goals is mostly for a specific reason - poor finishing.

Tellingly, Robert Lewandowski is leading the league in terms of big chances missed with 13, as per stats app SofaScore. Raphinha is sixth in the league with 8. And it’s not just them, it seems every attacker is failing to capitalize on their chances.

Of course, it’s normal for a good team to generate a lot of chances and thus miss their fair share, but with Barcelona, it’s simply too much,

According to Understat, Barcelona has the highest cumulative xG in the league, with 39.35. But they have only scored 31 goals, a deficit of more than 8. For comparison, Girona CF have 35.68 xG but 41 goals.

Let’s look at the last two league games. Barcelona drew 1-1 against Valencia and lost 4-2 to Girona. But Barcelona had 3.16 xG to Valencia’s 0.79, and 4.25 xG to Girona’s 2.94. You can even see this in the wins. In the 1-0 triumph over Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona generated 3.19 xG.

Now, xG stats are not the be-all, end-all, but the trend is so clear it’s almost ridiculous. Barcelona needs some extra shooting practice, or something like that. Yes, the defense needs to improve a lot, but it won’t do a lot of good if they continue to waste chances.

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