Feels like end times, doesn’t it? Not just for civilised society, but also Barcelona Football Club. If they don’t liven up quicksmart, they will finish a season without a trophy for the first time since the dark days of 2007-08. Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez are 33, Sergio Busquets turns 32 next month, Quique Setien is a walking P45 and there has been enough infighting to make Albert Square seem like idyll itself.
They could still finish the season as champions of Spain and Europe, so it’s not the end of the world just yet, but they have an uncomfortably good view from the precipice. That view will get even better if they fail to beat an Atletico Madrid side who have been in superb form since lockdown.
Barcelona’s geriatricos are two points behind the leaders Real Madrid, who play Getafe on Thursday, with six games remaining. Their home form has been almost faultless this season, with 15 wins out of 16 in the league. But home advantage ain’t what it used to be, and this match is fraught with peril for Barcelona. If this team are going to enjoy a last dance, a defiant victory tonight would be a good place ot start.
Kick off 9pm BST, 10pm CEST.