The La Liga has been a tight three-team battle for supremacy this season but the favourites and defending champions Barcelona‘s latest loss to Valencia at the Nou Camp might have some exciting ramifications at the table’s summit.
Atletico Madrid has been almost relentless in its game-play this season, has been on par with Barca, trailing only on goal difference, throughout this campaign and would be delighted at the chance to go three points clear of the Catalans. Tata Martino‘s team has now dropped seven points in its last four League matches and is unable to maintain consistency in terms of results. The team has been ploughing its way through opponents in the Copa del Rey however, and has set-up a semi-final date with Real Sociedad which is scheduled to take place on February 6.
The club that might take the most delight with Barca’s indifferent form would be Manuel Pellegrini‘s beast of a Manchester City team whose form continues to give an ominous feeling to every opponent they face. City’s play has been so devastating this season that it is Barca which is being touted as the underdog going in the mouth-watering Round of 16 Champions League encounter the teams kick off at the Etihad in two weeks’ time.
Fierce League rival Real Madrid is yet another team hoping to take advantage of Barca’s slip-up after trailing them in the table for a very long time. Even with Gareth Bale‘s intermittent appearances in the squad, Madrid has enough fire-power in it to propel its way forward as Karim Benzema, Jese and Angel di Maria continue to complement Cristiano Ronaldo‘s superb form.
Lionel Messi and company might be missing the influence of the injured Neymar, who is hoping to be fit for the clash against City, but the squad is deep enough to cope with his absence. Barca is most likely to sort out its stuttering form soon enough but, it is very likely that the team might come to rue its latest loss at the end of the season.