FC Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid tonight, trying to save the season. 3 days after a deceiving 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo away from home, it’s time for Quique’s men to win at the Camp Nou. For the players, it’s about avoiding a trophyless season, a rare event for Barcelona. Nonetheless, more than positive problems, institutional problems have resulted in an absolute chaos at the Camp Nou: Monday, the Pjanic-Arthur swap was made official, and it has been confirmed the Brazilian will leave this summer after two season at the Camp Nou, while the 30yo Bosnian star Pjanic will arrive from Juventus. A swap for pure financial reason that has disgusted, angered & disappointed the fans, who trusted Arthur.
Even worse, recent reports suggest that Barcelona could fire Sétien should he fail to win the next games or go trophyless. More than the board, the players seem to be problematic as it’s been said they dislike Sarabia’s ways, and Sétien has to deal with all the fire. And in all these conditions, Sétien has to win tonight at the Camp Nou against a tough Atletico side.
Last 5 Atletico matches: DWWWW
Athletic Club-Atlético Madrid: 1-1
Osasuna-Atlético Madrid: 0-5
Atlético Madrid-Real Valladolid: 1-0
Levante-Atlético Madrid: 0-1
Atlético Madrid-Deportivo Alavés: 2-1
League stats: 3rd|58 points|+18| 41 goals scored, 23 conceded
Atlético are on fire. From their last 5 opponents, only Bilbao has been able to stop them from winning with a 1-1 draw. 9 goals and 2 goals conceded in 5 matches is a respectable figure for sure. After all, we all know Cholo’s Atletico: Able to defend for a whole match any lead, they mostly hurt in their counter-attacks;They are rare, but they are also deadly. One opportunity can overturn the tide of any game. We’ve experienced a similar situation in January. We were dominating until the 80th minute and then they won 3-2. Thus, we have to stay focused to win against them, else it will be difficult.
Last 5 Barcelona matches:
Barça-Athletic Club: 1-0
Celta Vigo-Barça: 2-2
League stats: 2nd|69 pts|+39| 72 goals scored, 33 goals conceded.
Barcelona are in a constant turmoil. Whether it’s been Quique’s appointment in mid season, the Barcagate or the current reported problems between the board, the players & the coaching staff, everything goes badly. So badly that we may finish trophyless, which gives a lot of ‘08 vibes. Nonetheless, we do have to win, or Quique will have to pay the price-and we’ll pay the trophy. For that to happen, Sétien should definitely use at least a natural winter to add width, which means that either Braithwaite or Ansu Fati should start the game.
We’ve seen a compact block blocking us as a consequence of a lack of width, where central areas are overcrowded and no player takes advantage of the vacated wide areas. Moreover, Sétien should align a creative midfield in order to lessen the burden on Messi and allow him to push through while threatening on the wings. This game is a must-win and every little detail matters. Furthermore, Sétien will have to manage his substitutes better, as the Cantabrian coach still hasn’t been optimal in that department.