Barcelona must end their year in style

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Football News

Barcelona head into their final game of 2014 on the back of a very healthy 8-1 Copa del Rey win against Huesca.

Coming as it did off the back of an extremely disappointing performance against Getafe, it was a welcome riposte from Luis Enrique and his team, despite many first-teamers sitting that one out.

Despite still being alive in all competitions and hanging on the coat-tails of arch rivals Real Madrid in La Liga, local media have already written off the challenge of the Catalans this season.

It's easy to understand why.

Real continue to bulldoze their way past most teams, and 21 consecutive victories in all competitions speak for itself.

Tinkerman Enrique

By contrast, Enrique continues to tinker with his team, unable to decide on his best XI. in 22 official matches this season, the manager has started with 22 different line ups.

It's that sort of uncertainty which has seen them trip up against the likes of Malaga, Celta Vigo and Getafe, and be far from convincing against Almeria and others.

With the greatest of respect to Barca's next opponents, Enrique and co must be thanking their lucky stars that it's Cordoba that come to town.

Unbeaten in two, the fact remains that the visitors have only won once all season and remain just a point from the bottom of the table, where they had been marooned until the last fortnight.

A big performance from the Catalans is needed. 

Must win?

It's not quite a "must win" at this stage of the season, but failure to secure the points will leave Barca four behind Real and the latter will remain one game in hand.

Assuming that Los Blancos win then Barca would find themselves seven behind and given the respective form across the season thus far, you'd be fair in your assessment that it's a huge gap to make up in half a season.

Cordoba will certainly have their work cut out to stop Barca signing off in style.

Messi, Neymar on form

Lionel Messi has three hat-tricks in his last six outings, and few would bet against him getting on the score sheet again.

Luis Suarez needs a break too and he will not have a better chance at breaking his duck in La Liga. Once that first goal arrives, it should open the floodgates for the Uruguayan.

If Neymar can recover from his injury, then there is every possibility that Barca will equal or even top the five goals scored the last time the two teams met.

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La Liga
Luis Suarez
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