After 11 games of the season -for Barcelona and Real Madrid, Barcelona top the La Liga with a tally of 22 points and Madrid lie in second place only behind on goal difference – +12 compared to Barcelona’s 15 via Skysports. Despite the usual names at the foremost front for La Liga supremacy, it hasn’t looked straight-forward this time around as only a mere four points separate first-placed Barcelona and ninth-placed Osasuna on 18 points.

The loss to Levante over the weekend was the highlight of what has been an “inconsistent” start to the season for the Blaugrana. And it wasn’t the first time the Catalan giants have been humbled this season. Barca lost at Granada and Athletic Bilbao and escaped with a draw from Osasuna. Interestingly, they have conceded 14 goals – the same as 18th placed Celta Vigo (Skysports).
While Barcelona remain on course to win their 27th Spanish title, the major hindrances in their way will ideally be the natural names of Real Madrid and the likes of Atletico. But if the first quarter of the season is anything to go by, the one thing that could derail Barcelona’s chances in the La Liga remains Injuries and lots of them.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Barca’s indifferent start to the season is the club is that despite all the stutters, they still remain top of the league so far.

However, If Barcelona are to win a third consecutive title, they will almost certainly have to improve and find some consistency. But of course, consistency can only be achieved if the faces on the pitch are consistent in the first place.

Barca have been without Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Junior Firpo, Ansu Fati and Neto for differing lengths of time this term, causing a selection headache for coach Ernesto Valverde – especially in attack.
Suarez’s recent injury in the 3-1 loss to Levante is the complete summary of how Injuries have affected Barca’s dynamics this season.
In all fairness, Real Madrid have seen even more players out, with Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric, Isco, James Rodriguez, Luka Jovic, Marcelo, Fede Valverde, Brahim Diaz, Rodrygo, Thibaut Courtois, Ferland Mendy and Nacho all sidelined at various points since the start of the season. Gareth Bale is currently on the injury table and has been out on injury more than once.
However it may seem, the general sense is that Barcelona are in a more complete and balanced state than Real Madrid and even with all personnel fit, the Catalan side still look the number one favourites for the La Liga crown.
The fact that Barcelona have already lost three games so far (Skysports) is a big concern considering that tally was their total number of losses the whole of last season.
While much buzz was expected from the exciting trio of Messi, Griezmann and Suarez, injuries have reduced their playing time together and at one point or the other, one of the trio has been dropped from the squad on different occasions.
With Suarez out of the squad for at least three weeks, you get the feeling that one more injury and Valverde could find be in a really difficult position in terms of team selection. The El Clasico looms near and of course it marks a real chance for Barca to take a major stronghold over Madrid in terms of points tally. Despite Real Madrid waiting to pounce and the likes of Granada and Real Sociedad looking tough sides so far, the one real obstacle that could stop Barcelona from winning the La Liga appears to be injuries.