The reasons Xavi Hernandez's Barcelona side have not taken off yet

Sunday's win over Alaves was important but the performance was not great

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Barcelona have not found their best form. Xavi Hernandez's side produced one of their worst performances of the season against Alaves, who are second bottom of LaLiga and the lowest scorers in the league. However, thanks to Frenkie de Jong's 87th minute winner, they managed to leave Vitoria with three vital points in the race for a Champions League place.

To put into context Barça's current form, SPORT have analysed the various reasons that have held the team back from playing as Xavi hoped to have them playing by now.

LACK OF COMPETITION

Since he took over in November, Xavi's not had many selection headaches due to the lack of players available. The presence of B team and even U19 players has been common in his first months in charge and something which was unimaginable at the start of the season.

TOO MAN SETBACKS

Not many more things are left to happen to Xavi. The coach has lost several important players, like Ansu and many others, through injury. Others, like Gavi, who has been important, has been suspended twice. There was a Covid-19 outbreak, too, and Xavi must have the feeling that anything that could have happened, has happened.

TIME TO WORK

This has been one of Xavi's complaints since taking over. The coach has said several times that he's surprised at how little knowledge his players have of positional play, something so important to Barça. And the calendar has meant he has not had much time to work with his squad on that. Now he has two weeks before Atletico, although some players will be away on international duty.

PLAYERS OUT OF FORM

De Jong is the best example but not the only one. Jordi Alba's in poor form, although Xavi has kept him in the side, while others like Busquets and Ter Stegen have also been questioned by the supporters. Dest is also not performing as expected, while Ferran Torres is still recovering from an injury that kept him sidelined for several months.

GOALS

Barça don't score enough goals. They have netted 10 in their last seven games. Luuk de Jong, with three, has been the most prolific, although the numbers reveal Barça's desperate need to score more.

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