The challenge of starting the year with an away win
Barça, who have played their first game of the year away from home three times in the last ten years and not won any of them, are looking to end this run at San Mamés
FC Barcelona kick off 2017 with their first official game of the year on Thursday. The blaugranas inaugurate the year with a difficult away trip to San Mamés for the first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16. Luis Enrique's men, following a few days rest, face the difficult challenge of starting the year with an away victory. Barça have played away from home in their first match of the New Year three times in the last ten seasons and haven't managed to win.
Since Luis Enrique's arrival as coach, the Catalans were unable to win on both occassions. In 2015/16 Espanyol held Barça to a 0-0 draw in the league; whilst the season before that one, Real Sociedad beat Barça 1-0 at Anoeta. Therefore, the Asturian coach is hoping his team can end this negative away run so his team can start 2017 with a vital win.
Barça have been convincing in the first game of the year at the Camp Nou. In the last decade they have played at home seven times with a record of five wins and two draws. It is worth noting that the three years between 2012 and 2014 the matches ended with resounding 4-0 wins over Osasuna, Espanyol and Elche.
The overall record is of five wins, four draws and one defeat in the last ten opening games of the year. This year Barça play away at a difficult ground in San Mamés and Luis Enrique's side will aim to start 2017 with a win.