27th April, 20019
Most football clubs will surely give an arm and a leg to be Barcelona’s present situation. That is because it is in their power to decide if they want to be crowned La Liga’s champions tonight or postpone the event to a more convenient date as they take on Levante at the Nou Camp.
However as sweet as all of that sounds, it is also a difficult situation for their coach who needs to take a decision on whether to prioritize this particular game ahead of next week’s Champions’ League game against Liverpool or not.
Barcelona are just shy of three points from mathematically getting their hands on their eighth La Liga title in the span of 11 years; numbers that speak volumes of the team’s consistency and effort week in and week out.
A victory over Levante at the Camp Nou this Saturday will surely secure the trophy for Ernesto Valverde’s men and allow the team to shift their entire focus to the competition of the season: the Champions League. And let’s not forget our opponents are nothing but easy.
The Catalans will have to take on a very complicated Liverpool side that will most definitely bring the heat to the semi-finals in the coming week. Therefore, the faster Barca are able to put the league to bed the better to get their preparations started to face Mo Salah and Co.
Heading into this game, the big question on everyone’s mind will be the starting lineup. Will Valverde go full force to finish the league once and for all or rest his big guns and allow players like Carles Alena and Arturo Vidal, who have well-deserved a place on the pitch, to start the match?
Looking to the past, Valverde has shown he is the type of coach that focuses on the present, taking it one game at a time; however, in this case with a crucial first-leg tie against Liverpool on Wednesday, we might see the manager bench several key figures such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, or even Gerard Pique.
However, regardless of his choice, the players are well aware and motivated that a win this weekend will be much more than any ordinary victory; the three golden points could potentially translate into a league celebration, leaving the city draped in blaugrana colors.
And to make things even sweeter, Barcelona can proclaim themselves as La Liga champions at home in front of their own crowd for the first time in nine years. The last time they won the league at their stadium dates back to the 2009/10 season when they overcame Real Valladolid 4-0.
Thus, even more of an incentive to sentence the league. If all the cards are played correctly this weekend, Barca fans could be in for a historical Saturday night under the bright lights at the Camp Nou.