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Xavi could equal historic Guardiola and Vilanova Barcelona record with win against Almeria



Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in midweek compounded the club’s woes in European competitions under the leadership of Xavi Hernandez.

The club have indeed underperformed under Xavi in Europe, notably getting eliminated from the group of the Champions League for two seasons in a row, while being knocked out by Eintracht Frankfurt at the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Europa League last season.

However, despite the woes in Europe, Barça have performed exceptionally well in domestic competitions under Xavi.

In fact, the Barcelona coach is one win away from achieving the milestone of 62 points in the first 23 matches of a La Liga season. It would equal the best-ever start to a league season for Barça in the club’s history.

The last two coaches to achieve this milestone were Pep Guardiola in the 2010/11 campaign and Tito Vilanova in the 2012/13 campaign. Xavi, too, could now equal the record if his team can gather a win against Almeria on Sunday.

The Catalans currently stand at the top of the league table with 59 points in 22 league matches. They are leading second-placed Real Madrid by a whopping eight points.

The gap could potentially increase by the end of the weekend, considering the fact that Real Madrid are facing a stern contest against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid. Therefore, sealing a win could be crucial for Barcelona on Sunday, not only because of Xavi’s personal milestones but also to return to winning momentum after facing a loss in midweek.

Barcelona have a game coming up against Real Madrid as well, when the two traditional rivals meet at Santiago Bernabeu on March 3 for the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semifinal.

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