FC Barcelona come into a week in which they have two vital home games at Camp Nou. On Wednesday they have the return leg of their last 16 Copa del Rey tie against Athletic Club, defending their 2-1 advantage picked up after the win last week in San Mamés. Four days later Atlético Madrid come to Barcelona for a league game in which top spot in the table will be at stake. Following their 0-0 draw on Sunday against Sevilla at home, Diego Simeone’s team are currently in second place in the table, level on points with the blaugranes but having played a game more.
Faced with these two tough tests, however, Barça have reasons to be optimistic:
Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic side lost 6-0 at Camp Nou in the league just over a week ago. However, in the first leg of the cup tie they showed that they cannot be taken lightly after pushing Barça all the away in the blaugranes’ first leg win in the Basque country.
Atlético will come to Camp Nou as the team who have conceded fewest goals this season in the league. Diego Simeone’s side have let in just three goals on their travels (eight in total) and have the best away record in the division having picked up 25 points from a possible 30.