Barcelona will look to have successfully retained their La Liga title before the end of April, in time for a potential Champions League semi final.
As it stands, Ernesto Valverde’s side a huge favourites to win back to back domestic titles, with a ten point lead over second place Atletico Madrid, with nine games to go in the 2018-19 campaign.
If Barcelona win all of their forthcoming games, they will be Spanish champions again with three games to spare – winning the league at home to Levante at the Nou Camp on April 27th.
However, Diego Simeone’s side are aiming to at least disrupt, if not derail, Barcelona’s season when they head to Catalonia this weekend.
La Balugrana have lost just twice in league action this season, but if Atletico are to have any chance of an incredible turnaround, they need to win this weekend.
The odds are firmly against them, having not won at the Nou Camp in their last 15 visits, in a run stretching all the way back to 2006.
Valverde has a busy set of games coming up, however the former Athletic Bilbao boss has confirmed that he will not be making sweeping changes to his side until the league title is confirmed.
A midweek win over relegation battling Villarreal, coupled with the a victory over Atletico this weekend would give them a 13 point lead over Simeone’s side, and moving the title win a week closer.
That would allow Valverde and his players to focus on the real priority in the closing weeks of the season – the Champions League.
Either side of Atletico Madrid’s visit, Barcelona face a two legged quarter final against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United, and Valverde will be aware of the need to keep his players fresh.
If all goes to plan in La Liga, and Barcelona beat Atletico and maintain their domestic winning streak, they will lift the trophy win a victory at Alaves on April 23rd.
That would provide a week between wrapping up the title, and a Champions League semi final first leg, allowing the opportunity to rest players for that tie, and the league game at Celta Vigo, before the second leg.
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