Barcelona no longer have La Liga in their own hands after falling four points behind Real Madrid, who have control of their own destiny now. There are five games left and Barça need to win all their games and hope Madrid drop points at least twice. It's going to be very tough. Despite that, Quique Setien and his players are obliged to fight until the end, until the mathematicians say it's impossible. The next stop if Villarreal.
EVERY DECISION COUNTS
It's not just the league title that's in play, but the credibility of a coach who, beyond the team's performance, has taken certain contradictory decisions to the messages he has given in press conferences. The disappearance of Antoine Griezmann is the most evident. On Saturday, Setien defended the French forward, words which should be incompatible with leaving him on the bench for the fourth time in five games against Villarreal.
After the episode against Atletico Madrid, when Griezmann was brought on in stoppage time, seeing him on the bench again would be interpreted as an invitation to leave the club this summer, to seek a new challenge away from Camp Nou. If Griezmann does not start, the options are to repeat the 4-4-2 used vs. Atletico or to bring in Ansu Fati. Messi and Suarez, as Setien has insisted, will always play.
Right-back is the only doubt in defence. Nelson Semedo has been a regular there while Sergi Roberto was injured. But Roberto is fit again now and could come back in -- or he could even take one of the three midfield roles.
If Semedo has convinced Setien, it can't be ruled out that he keeps his place, even though Sergi Roberto's often been preferred. But Sergi offers versatility and it wouldn't be strange to see him used in midfield as an alternative to Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal. Sergio Busquets will start.
The youngster started against Celta Vigo and Atletico. Both games ended in draws but he showed character and personality and was one of the players praised by Setien, who has suggested he has earned the right to keep playing.