Following their comprehensive and thoroughly impressive 2-0 dismantling of cross-city rivals and Copa del Rey holders, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid moved into pole position for a berth in the quarter-finals of this year's competition, meaning that with a similarly impressive win tonight, FC Barcelona may well move one step closer to setting up another two-legged clash with the La Liga champions. Of course, it was Atletico Madrid who derailed Gerardo Martino's campaign last season, eliminating the Blaugrana over two legs in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final; for Barca, this could be a chance at vengence.
Or, judging from current form and the current political situation at the club, this could prove to be another disaster waiting to happen. Alas, being eliminated by Atleti, no matter how painful, would not be anywhere near as bad as succumbing to lowly Elche CF. The team from Alicante currently languish right at the foot of the La Liga table, meaning that even by our recent standards, this truly would be a shock result.
As such, the pressure is on an out-of-form and distracted Barcelona to deliver the goods; all the while knowing that they must conserve energy for this weekend's crunch La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou. The comparative lack of time between this fixture and the match against Atleti is sure to play a factor; with that in mind will Luis Enrique risk further rotations, or will he play it safe and restore the status quo? It's a tough decision but at this point, only one thing is important: picking up the victory tonight.
Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!