Beginning this Wednesday away from home, Barcelona will start their 2015/2016 Spanish Cup campaign. The title holders will face Segunda B team CF Villanovense, a club that will play against Barcelona for the first time in their history.

Barcelona aim to reach the final of the competition for the third consecutive season, and win back-to-back titles for the first time since 1998. Their recent form in the competition makes them the big favorites. In fact, the blaugrana reached at least the semifinals in each of the last five seasons, and reached the final in five of the previous seven editions, winning three of them, something only Bayern Munich and Chelsea managed to do in the same period. They also won five Spanish Cups in the last 20 years, while no other team won it more than twice in that same period. Barcelona are the most successful team in the competition's long history and not only in recent years. In 2015, Luis Enrique’s team clinched Barça’s 27th trophy extending the club’s uncontested record, followed by Athletic Club Bilbao (23 trophies) and Real Madrid (19).

Barcelona played 562 Copa matches, winning 347 of them, an all-time record. Scoring 1,372 goals, an average of 2.44 goals per game, they currently find themselves in a streak of 35 consecutive matches scoring at least a goal, Real Madrid in the 2010/11 final were the last team to keep a clean sheet. Barça concede on average 1.14 goals per match, and kept a clean sheet in 36 percent of them. Worth noting that Atlético Madrid are the team against which Barcelona played (45), won (21) and lost (16), the most in their Spanish Cup campaigns.

Luis Enrique will lead Barcelona this Wednesday for his 10th Spanish Cup game as the club’s manager, he won the previous nine. Johan Cruyff is the manager with most Spanish Cup games in the history of Barcelona (40 games), followed by Romà Forns (33) and Josep Guardiola (31). While the manager with most titles with the club is Ferdinand Daucik who won it three times. Luis Enrique has an opportunity to win it for the second time and equal the likes of Jack Greenwell, Ralph Kirby and Josep Guardiola.

There are 531 different players who have featured for Barcelona in the Spanish Cup history: 485 outfield players and 46 goalkeepers. Samitier stands out as the player with most games (74), most wins (49), most goals (64), most hat tricks (five), most finals won (five) and most goals in finals (four, alongside Alcántara and Messi). Messi is already the sixth best goalscorer for Barcelona in Spanish Cup with 34 goals, only three goals away from overtaking third place. But Eulogio Martinez has the highest goalscoring ratio (among players with at least 20 games) with 1.1 goals per game. And among goalkeepers with at least 10 games played, Platko has the best ratio with 0.48 goals concededl per game, followed by Pinto (0.71) and Zubizarreta (0.75). Ter Stegen has now a conceding ratio of 0.62 goal per game, and is on track to overtake the second place as soon as he plays his 10th game.

Defending the title won’t be an easy task for the champions, Barcelona hope to repeat their stunning performances of last season in the competition when they won every single game with convincing results. In fact, Barcelona became the only team in history to win the Spanish Cup after playing at least eight games and winning them all. Coincidentally, Barça was also the first team ever to win every single game of a cup season, back in 1929. In 2014/15 they became the first in the club’s history to score at least three goals in eight knockout games, scoring a total of 34 goals which is the second highest tally in the club’s history. Their away form helped a lot in progressing stage after stage and recording amazing numbers, which manifests in the fact that they scored at least three goals in each of their four away games. Messi, Neymar and Suárez, who have only featured in six games, registered strong numbers. Neymar finished the competition as top scorer (alongside Aspas), and Messi and Suárez finished as top assist providers.

Anything wrong? Send your correction.