Five games into 2022 and Barça have yet to play a game at Camp Nou. And the next two are away too. On Thursday there’s a Copa del Rey visit to Bilbao and after that it’s off to Mendizorroza for a Sunday league fixture at Alavés.
Seven games in January and not one at Camp Nou now that the game with Rayo Vallecano (originally scheduled for this Wednesday coming) has been postponed to make way for the cup match.
Barça won’t be back in front of their fans until they entertain Atlético Madrid on February 6.
It’s a curiously similar situation to 2021, when Barça started the year with an all-time record of eight consecutive games away from home (four in La Liga, two in the Copa del Rey and two in the Spanish Super Cup).
With seven wins and one draw, they certainly didn’t seem to suffer from the absence of home advantage, the only defeat coming in the Super Cup Final against Athletic Club.
This time round, Barça have two wins, one draw and one defeat to show for their efforts. Matters have not been helped by injuries and also Covid, but there is little doubt that the team has been gaining a lot of shape in recent games, and the introduction of so many young players is sure to pay off in the long term.
Missing out on the Spanish Super Cup Final has come as a cruel blow, especially because the performance against Real Madrid was so encouraging despite the result. But it does at least mean the team now get the rare luxury of a weekend off to start thinking about Thursday’s crunch game against Athletic Club.