Barcelona sack coach Ernesto Valverde despite being top of La Liga

Ernesto Valverde Super Cup

Spanish champions Barcelona have sacked Ernesto Valverde, which brings an end to his reign at the helm since 2017. The club have now appointed Quique Setien, despite them sitting top of the La Liga table. They also remain strong favourites for the title with punters using the regular offers available at Next in the betting are Real Madrid, who are much improved under Zidane with just one loss to date in the Spanish top division.

Ernesto Valverde Super Cup
Ernesto Valverde

Quique Setien joins following a very successful spell at Betis. This included pushing them to their highest finish in La Liga since back in 2005 and a strong run to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. The Barcelona job is a big step up for the former Spanish international and it will be interesting on how the 61 year old performs.

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At present, Barcelona are sitting top of the La Liga table, only bettering Real Madrid via goal difference. They have picked up 40 points from a possible 57, having won 12 matches, drew four and lost three from 19 matches played. However, they were also beaten in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana by Atletico Madrid 3-2, despite having been leading 2-1 after 80 minutes. This defeat meant an end for Ernesto Valverde, in which Barcelona had also drew their previous La Liga fixture away at Espanyol.

Barcelona did beat Atletico Madrid in the league back in December and have played out a recent 0-0 draw with Real Madrid at the end of 2019. They will now be expected to go on and land the title for the third year in succession and add to their 26 La Liga titles to date.

One of the key positives to take from this season, has been their performances in the Champions league. This also sees them amongst the favourites for the title, as they look to vanish the memories of that shocking 4-0 second leg defeat to eventual champions Liverpool. This was one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the competition and tough to take for the Spanish giants.

Barcelona were drawn in Group F this season and progressed through as group winners and remained unbeaten throughout the six fixtures. This saw them win four matches and draw two, that included two victories over Inter Milan and an impressive 3-1 home victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Barcelona now head into the round of 16 as one of the outright favourites for the competition and will face Napoli next. The first leg between the pair will be taking place on the 25th of February inside the Stadio San Paolo. The return will then be taking place on the 18th of March in the Camp Nou, with Barcelona the overwhelming favourites to progress through.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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