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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Barcelona in sparkling form ahead of El Clasico

Any optimism that Real Madrid fans have generated from their team's Club World Cup win may be justified as the Clasico draws into view, but Barcelona fans have plenty to shout about themselves.
An excellent 2017 in LaLiga saw the Azulgrana peg back Los Blancos in last season's title race to cause a final day panic in the capital, with that confidence carried over into the 2017/18 campaign.
Across the calendar year thus far, Barcelona boast a goal difference of +89, scoring 117 and conceding 28 goals to match the division's best-ever which was set by the same club in 2010.
Thus, a win would set a new LaLiga record in this regard as Ernesto Valverde's team chase becoming only the fourth team to hit 100 points from January 1 to December 31.
Currently on 98, victory at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu would edge them past Real's 100-point tally of 2010, the same period which saw Barcelona hit 103 - a total they also achieved in 2012.
In fact, if Barcelona manage a thumping on Saturday night they may even set a new goals record for a calendar year. A whopping 117 have already been notched with 121 the highest tally set in 2012; Madrid are second in this ranking thanks to 119 strikes managed in 2011.
Losing just twice in 2017, the Catalans have already rounded off an unbeaten year at the Camp Nou as both defeats came on the road, while they also set a record for consecutive LaLiga victories in a calendar year.
With seven wins rounding off Luis Enrique's tenure and a further seven bagged by coach Valverde, the Blaugrana hit 14 in a row to beat the previous best of 13 straight victories set in 2013.