Are Barcelona becoming too predictable?

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Thomas Vermaelen was the surprise match winner as Barcelona beat 1-0 against Malaga to maintain their 100% start to their league campaign.

The Catalan club looked to drop their first points of the year, until the Belgian defender rifled in a volley to secure the three points for Luis Enrique’s side.

Brazlian Neymar returned to the line-up since suffering from mumps and was reunited with his star-studded team-mates in Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.


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Yet the talented trio failed to replicate their tremendous form of their treble winning season. The front three scored 122 goals last year, and got off to a stuttering start so far, albeit there is a long way to go in the campaign.

Two 1-0 wins in a row is certainly not enough to be worried about, but perhaps their inability to produce against well organised teams could be a problem this year. For over a decade in La Liga now, Barcelona have always faced sides who will try and pack the midfield to try to limit space which the Catalan club loves to exploit, yet rarely this would actually work.

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With players such as Andres Iniesta and Xavi would always spot that pass that would open up the teams with that killer ball. The acquisition of Ivan Rakitic it was meant to help the team be more direct or have a plan B than simply walking the ball into the net.

However, against Atheltic Bilbao in the Super Cup and last week in the league the defensive organisation of the opposition frustrated and nullified Barcelona’s midfield. Malaga stood tall and boasted solidarity - and so nearly came away with a point. 

Perhaps Barcelona are just struggling to find some form or that sharpness at the start of the season, yet there inability for their midfield to connect with their attacking three could be a cause for concern for Enrique going forward. 

The most important thing is that Barcelona are winning, but will their luck start to run out if other sides have sussed out how to play against them.

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Lionel Messi

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