Barca must bounce back

A look ahead to this weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.

Last Updated: 21/02/13 at 16:31 Post Comment

Barcelona must bounce back from their loss to Milan

Barcelona must bounce back from their loss to Milan

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Barcelona do not have long to dwell on their Champions League disappointment against AC Milan as they prepare for a run of fixtures which could have a huge impact on their season.

Barca's hopes of conquering Europe for a fourth time in eight seasons suffered a huge blow last night when they lost the first leg of their last-16 tie against Milan 2-0 in Italy.

However, the Catalan giants need to bounce back quickly as in the coming weeks they play a series of key matches - including two showdowns with arch rivals Real Madrid next week and also the return meeting with Milan on March 12.

The good news for Barca is they go into Saturday's league clash with Sevilla boasting a 12-point lead at the top of the table, but another slip-up would set the nerves jangling ahead of Tuesday's Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Madrid at the Nou Camp, with the tie evenly poised at 1-1.

Barca midfielder Xavi, whose side go the Bernabeu in the league four days after the cup showdown, said: "It's a cup-tie and that motivates us, regardless of yesterday's result. We would love to get to that final, it will be a very tense game.

"(But) before then we have the league game, which is very important."

He added of the performance at the San Siro: "We need to correct our mistakes. We need to be more united than ever."

Improving Sevilla head to the Nou Camp having won three of their first four league games under new coach Unai Emery, and they will be hoping to take advantage of any European hangover the Catalan side might be suffering from.

Not that Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic is expecting anything other than a fully-focused Barca outfit.

He said: "We are talking about the best team in the world. No team is happy after losing, but they have too much quality to say that the defeat is going to make them nervous."

Like Barca, Sevilla are also in cup action next week as they host Atletico Madrid in their semi-final second leg, trailing 2-1 from the first meeting.

Atletico will hope to go into that game on the back of a league win over Espanyol at the Vicente Calderon, where Diego Simeone's men have won their last 13 league matches.

Stuttering champions Real Madrid, who are four points behind second-placed Atletico, warm up for their double-header against Barca with a trip to rock-bottom Deportivo La Coruna.

Madrid have only won once at the Riazor in the last two decades - that victory coming in 2010 - but with Depor on a five-match losing streak, Jose Mourinho's men will be confident of claiming all three points on Saturday.

Also this weekend, Abel Resino's first match in charge of Celta Vigo sees him face former club Granada, fourth-placed Malaga have an Andalusian derby with Real Betis, Valencia in fifth travel to struggling Real Zaragoza, second-bottom Real Mallorca host Getafe and Rayo Vallecano take on Real Valladolid.

Tomorrow night Athletic Bilbao take on Basque rivals Real Sociedad, while on Monday Osasuna go to Levante.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

T

his Martinez guy is mental. He'll get us relegated. I said that when they appointed him. Sack him now, Bill!

nilsatisnisi
'No need to replace Eto'o'

I

f we sign Gignac, we might as well immediately send him onward to Crystal Palace.

dr soccer
Who Are The Best Summer Freebies?

Footer 365

Premier League: Costa loses appeal against FA charge and gets three-match ban

Diego Costa has lost his appeal against an FA violent conduct charge and has been given a three-match ban.

Sinclair joins Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Manchester City

Scott Sinclair has joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Manchester City, with a view to a permanent move.

Merson's predictions: Three points in the bag for Arsenal, Stoke and Southampton - and Chelsea if Diego Costa plays

With a full Premier League schedule this weekend, Paul Merson tips wins for Arsenal, Stoke and Southampton

Mail Box

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company