• Barcelona went four points clear in La Liga after 4-0 win at Real Madrid
  • They won the title last season, along with the cup and Champions League
  • But defender Gerard Pique suggested they’d struggle in Premier League 
  • However, our statistical analysis indicates they would dominate
  • Barca have out-passed, out-shot and out-scored anyone in the English top flight so far this season 

Adam Shergold for MailOnline

No matter how magical their football, there will be always someone poised to ask that niggling question of Barcelona – ‘Yes, but could they do it on a cold Tuesday night at Stoke?’

Indeed, sometimes Barcelona bring it upon themselves. Just a few weeks ago, their defender Gerard Pique referenced the Potters when suggesting that the Spanish champions would not be capable of repeating the feat in England – at least not straight away.

‘I think that if Barcelona or Real Madrid goes to the Premier League then the first year of playing there, there is no chance of winning it,’ said the 28-year-old, who has experience of the Premier League with Manchester United.

Barcelona celebrate during their 4-0 Clasico rout of Real Madrid on Saturday. They sit top of La Liga

Barcelona celebrate during their 4-0 Clasico rout of Real Madrid on Saturday. They sit top of La Liga

Neymar and Andres Iniesta celebrate Barcelona's second goal in the thrashing of their nearest rivals 

Neymar and Andres Iniesta celebrate Barcelona’s second goal in the thrashing of their nearest rivals 

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique suggested the team would struggle to win the Premier League title 

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique suggested the team would struggle to win the Premier League title 

‘I think because if you go to Stoke, or other types of teams, then it will be really tough.’

But this season’s statistics suggest otherwise. Right across the board, Barcelona have outperformed their prospective Premier League rivals, indicating that, in a hypothetical division, they would actually do pretty well.

The way Luis Enrique’s team – who reached another level of excellence in Saturday’s 4-0 Clasico drubbing of Real – out-pass, out-shoot and out-score pretty much all of the Premier League gives the strong impression they would find a way through even Stoke’s barricades.

We asked our friends at Opta to imagine Barcelona were in this season’s Premier League and these were the results.

Luis Enrique's side would prosper if they played in the Premier League, according to our analysis 

Luis Enrique’s side would prosper if they played in the Premier League, according to our analysis 

Their 4-0 win in Madrid took Barcelona four points clear at the top of the La Liga table

Their 4-0 win in Madrid took Barcelona four points clear at the top of the La Liga table

POSSESSION AND PASSING

Whoever the manager is, Barcelona have always subscribed to the theory that keeping the ball from your opponent is the first part of winning the match.

And anyone who admires their style won’t be surprised to learn they have averaged 64.65 per cent possession in their dozen La Liga fixtures so far.

Nobody in the Premier League can match their dominance when in possession, with Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United the next best on 59.44 per cent and Manchester City not far behind on 59.02 per cent.

The masterful passing and movement of Andres Iniesta is one of the reasons Barca top the stats tables

The masterful passing and movement of Andres Iniesta is one of the reasons Barca top the stats tables

Manchester United have completed the most passes in the Premier League this season, with 7355

Manchester United have completed the most passes in the Premier League this season, with 7355

Barcelona have enjoyed more possession in their league matches this season than any team in the English top flight
Only Manchester United and Manchester City have completed more passes than Barcelona - but they have each played one more game

Barcelona have enjoyed more possession than any Premier League side this season (left), while they have almost played as many passes in league fixtures as the Manchester clubs despite playing one game less

Though Barca have played fewer passes in total this season (7,328) than United (7,355) and City (7,336), they have played one game fewer than their Premier League adversaries.

A more accurate measure is the average passes played per game and Barca’s impressive 610.7 is much, much higher than United (565.8) and City (564.3).

What’s more, Barca’s passes find their intended recipient with unerring accuracy. Their 86.06 per cent passing accuracy is superior to the whole of the Premier League, with Arsenal closest on 85.02 per cent.

So you would imagine Barca would be more than capable of passing most Premier League opponents off the park.

Barcelona line up for the match with Real. The statistics suggest they would impress in the Premier League

Barcelona line up for the match with Real. The statistics suggest they would impress in the Premier League

Barcelona an average of 610 passes in each match, considerably more than any Premier League team
Barcelona's passing accuracy is superior to every English top flight team, with 86 per cent of balls reaching their intended recipient

Barcelona average more passes in each match than any Premier League side (left) and also boast a superior passing accuracy (right). The table shows that 86 per cent of passes reach their intended recipient

SHOOTING

All that passing inevitably leads to shooting opportunities and it comes as little surprise to see that Barcelona’s 167 shots at goal this season exceeds every Premier League club.

Man City come next on 164, with Arsenal on 162, and you also have to bear in mind that Barca have played one game less.

They average 13.9 shots per match, well above even the most attack-minded English teams Man City (12.6) and Arsenal (12.5).

You can safely assume that Barca’s forward line would be keeping every Premier League goalkeeper busy.

Hotshot Luis Suarez is one of the reasons why Barcelona have more shots on goal than any other side

Hotshot Luis Suarez is one of the reasons why Barcelona have more shots on goal than any other side

Neymar scores Barcelona's second goal during their four-goal win at the Santiago Bernabeu 

Neymar scores Barcelona’s second goal during their four-goal win at the Santiago Bernabeu 

Despite playing one fewer match, Barcelona have still fired in more shots than any side in the Premier League
Barcelona average 13.9 shots per league match, considerably more than all Premier League sides this season

Despite playing one fewer game, Barcelona have still fired in more shots than any side in the Premier League (left). The Las Liga leaders average 13.9 shots at goal in every league match (right)

SCORING

Barca have found the net 29 times in their 12 La Liga matches to date and therefore exceed current Premier League leaders Leicester (28) and City (27).

They also average 2.4 goals per game which – surprise, surprise – beats each of the Premier League clubs this season.

Boiling the stats down to an individual level, Barcelona’s leading league goalscorer in nine of the past 10 seasons has netted more than the Premier League’s top marksman.

Lionel Messi returned from injury for the match with Real Madrid, further strengthening Barcelona's hand

Lionel Messi returned from injury for the match with Real Madrid, further strengthening Barcelona’s hand

Samuel Eto'o was Barcelona's leading scorer in three seasons during the past decade 

Samuel Eto’o was Barcelona’s leading scorer in three seasons during the past decade 

In the past six campaign, that person has been Lionel Messi, with his personal peak coming with a half-century of strikes in the league alone during 2011-12.

Before that, Samuel Eto’o in two campaigns and Ronaldinho in one have outperformed their equivalent in the English league.

The one exception of the 2007-08 season, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s 31 goals for Man United put him some way ahead of Barca’s top scorer Eto’o, who got 16 that year.

Barcelona have outscored every Premier League team so far this season, despite playing one fewer game
Barca average 2.4 goals per game in the league

Barcelona have scored 29 goals in their dozen La Liga matches so far this season (left) at an average of 2.4 per game. Both measures are higher than any side in England’s top division 

In nine of the past 10 seasons, Barcelona's leading scorer has exceeded the goal tally of the top marksman in the Premier League

In nine of the past 10 seasons, Barcelona’s leading scorer has exceeded the goal tally of the top marksman in the Premier League

POINTS COLLECTED

In football, points win prizes and Barcelona’s relentless winning form means they have a four-point lead on Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

With 10 wins and two losses from their dozen games so far, Barca have a very healthy average of 2.5 points per game.

Leicester, leaders in the Premier League, have by comparison a ratio of 2.2 points per match.

 


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