Barcelona: Key week to recover the faith... or say goodbye to everything

Koeman's side have three games this week which will make or break their season

| sport

Sergi Capdevila

For as much as there have been 'illusions' in a year which in principle perhaps should have seen many expectations generated, beating Cadiz and moving six points behind Atletico Madrid would have been hugely encouraging for Barcelona's title hopes.

It's difficult to know for how long, but following that up with three points against Elche on Wednesday to move within three of the leaders (albeit having played a game more) would have changed the panoramic.

Looking further ahead, Barça could even have drawn level if they then beat Sevilla on Saturday -- a difficult task, admittedly -- before Atletico play at Villarreal on Sunday.

But now, how can you believe in a team that were unable to deliver when they had a golden chance to get into the title race against a team lingering in the bottom half of the table, especially at Camp Nou.

What is true is that there are 45 points to be played for. 15 official games, starting with Elche. Eight ponts back from Atletico and five behind Real Madrid, who've played a game more. In normal circumstances, no one would have thrown in the towel. In fact, many still have not.

The DNA obliges Barça to fight on. Another thing is whether the majority have faith or are ready for the new project to start and for the pace to (slowly) be turned.

This week will be intense. After Elche, Ronald Koeman's side travel to Seville to face Julen Lopetegui's side at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

And then on Wednesday, they have the second 'final' of the season (the third if we consider the PSG game another), the return leg against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semifinal, this time at Camp Nou. Coming back from 2-0 down, given the level Sevilla are playing at and considering what we saw against Cadiz, seems highly unlikely, but not impossible.

What happens in these three games will dictate what happens in the final stretch of the season. If Barça win six points from six and turn it around in the Copa, the mood will receive a huge boost. A key week, no doubt. Days to recover some faith...




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