Bookies have their say on Xavi’s chances of success at Barcelona

Once the international break comes to an end, FC Barcelona will embark on a new era under the leadership of their former player, Xavi Hernandez.

The Spaniard was announced as the new manager following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

Xavi arrives back at Camp Nou with the club in desperate state. But despite all the challenges that face him, many are optimistic about his upcoming reign as Barca boss.

Planet Sport takes a look at what the bookmakers think of Xavi's chances for the rest of the 2021/22 season. We'll delve into the outright odds in La Liga as well as the Champions League.

(All odds correct at time of publication, the ones in the blue boxes are bang up-to-date)

First game vs Espanyol

Sergio Kun Aguero of FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between Rayo Vallecano and FC Barcelona at Estadio de Vallecas in Madrid

Xavi's first test is an important one as Barcelona host Espanyol in a much-anticipated derby.

All eyes will be on the new manager and the visitors will certainly fancy their chances against an under-strength Barca outfit.

The Catalonian giants are on a four-match winless run in the league and appear to be there for the taking. Espanyol, on the other hand, won three of their last six and only suffered one defeat during that run of games.

Despite those stats, the bookmakers are backing Barcelona to start the new Xavi era with a win. The hosts are priced at 21/50 while the visitors are currently available at around the 15/2 mark.

Barcelona to win La Liga

emphis Depay of FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF played at Camp Nou Stadium

Xavi will take over a Barcelona side which is currently ninth in the standings - six points off the top four and 11 points adrift of league leaders Real Sociedad.

If the Spaniard is to have a chance at claiming the league crown, Barca would need to go on an incredible winning run.

Last year's champions, Atletico Madrid, only suffered four defeats on their way to the La Liga title. Barcelona have already lost three games this season and succumbed to five draws.

With that in mind, any mention of Barcelona winning the title this season is nothing more than fantasy.

The bookmakers agree with that notion having priced the club at 20/1 to lift the league trophy.

Barcelona to finish in the top four

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona celebration

While the chances of winning the title are slim, their hopes of making the top four are far more realistic.

As previously mentioned, the current gap to the top four is six points - a small gap considering there are still 26 games to go.

It may take time for Xavi to find his feet but considering he's got more than half a season to turn things around, top four should be a realistic goal for the new man in charge.

At the price of 11/10, it's fair to say that Barca certainly bring a lot of value to this market.

Barcelona to be relegated

Ronald Araujo Barcelona vs Granada Sep21

This looks a little extreme. Barcelona's problems are severe but the club are far from relegation candidates.

In fact, Xavi still has a talented squad to his disposal - one that can still go toe-to-toe with anyone in the league, with the right playing style of course.

Many of the players have underperformed in this outfit but if the Spaniard is able to get the best out of them, teams above them will be worried.

With that in mind, we would stay clear of this 500/1 shot.

Barcelona to win the Champions League

Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez celebrates with the UEFA Champions League Trophy

It's been over six years since Barcelona last won the Champions League. As things stand, fans will have to wait longer as the club are in no shape to tackle the big guns on the continental stage.

The bookmakers have priced Barcelona at 50/1 to win the competition - odds which put the club behind the likes of AjaxJuventus and even Manchester United.

La Liga will undoubtedly take priority for Xavi this season as the Catalonian outfit fight for a place in Europe next season.

However, with a good draw in the knockout stages, who says they couldn't progress deep into the tournament.

Barcelona to progress to the knockout stage

Ansu Fati of FC Barcelona celebrate a goal during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and UD Levante at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain.

Xavi faces two massive games in the Champions League as the group stages come to a close.

His side are currently second in the standings with six points to their name - six behind Bayern Munich and just two ahead of Benfica.

Barca take on their Portuguese rivals shortly after the international break. A win at the Camp Nou would seal progression however, a defeat would throw the door wide open.

Barcelona's final group game is away against Bayern Munich - not a place you want to go to when you desperately need a victory.

Nevertheless, the bookmakers have plenty of faith in this team having priced the Spaniards at 2/7 to make it out of the group.

Barcelona to reach the Champions League final

Philippe Coutinho, Memphis Depay, Barcelona, La Liga

Winning the Champions League may be a step too far but what about getting to the final itself?

Barcelona haven't made the showpiece of this competition since their win over Juventus back in 2015.

Four of the last six years have seen the club bow out at the quarter-final stage. One of those six, meanwhile, saw the Catalonian club reach a semi-final in which they famously blew a 3-0 lead against Liverpool.

A good draw is always key when it comes to Champions League progression. However, you have to play the big guns sooner or later. Unfortunately, this Barca team is not strong enough to compete with the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool or Chelsea.

With that in mind, 20/1 is a rather generous price.

READ MORE: Sergio Aguero's iconic moments for Man City, Atletico Madrid and more

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