The Blaugrana finished last campaign 13 points off La Liga champions Madrid following a difficult start to the 2021-22 season.
Xavi has attended to several issues in the squad with signings such as Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, and Raphinha.
Lewandowski has been on fire with 11 goals and he is set to rival Madrid’s Karim Benzema as La Liga’s most potent goalscorer.
They have paid dividends thus far as Barca are just two points behind Carlo Ancelotti’s side after six games.
Madrid have likewise made alterations to their side this past summer with the £72 million signing of Aurelien Tchouameni from AS Monaco.
The French midfielder has impressed with two assists in his first eight appearances for Los Blancos.
Both teams are flourishing and unbeaten, which makes Xavi believe his side will be a more difficult contender for Real Madrid to contend with this time.
He told El Chiringuito TV:
“This year we’re closer [to winning the league], I think so.”
The stakes have been raised ahead of a monumental El Clasico clash on October 16 where both sides will be looking to put down a marker over their title credentials.
Real Madrid manager Ancelotti comments on Barcelona’s title credentials
Ancelotti has spoken on Barcelona’s chances of beating Real Madrid to the title this season.
The Italian told Marca:
“Barcelona is doing very well, so are we, Atlético have lost to us. This season is very strange, we don’t know what could happen after the World Cup, what happened to Atlético could happen to us. It’s a more competitive league.”
The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in November and it is the first time the international tournament will take place midway through a season.
There are chances players may pick up injuries, lose form or become fatigued given the daunting schedule that will ensue.
Alongside the World Cup is the Champions League that both Barca and Madrid are contending in and are among the frontrunners to win.
Ancelotti’s men won last season’s European title and will be looking to successfully defend their success.
Meanwhile, Xavi’s side exited the competition in the group stages for the first time in 20 years.
The Blaugrana are coming off the back of their first defeat of the season following their 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the tournament.