Barcelona's fantastic week of football in LaLiga and Copa
Forget transfer rumours, future squad building and other off-field goings on, while we look forward to an exciting line up of fixtures for Barça.
Barcelona have reached the point in the season with the a feeling of vertigo similar to the passengers on a huge rollercoaster. They are at the peak of the climb and are now starting their rapid descent at maximum speed, adrenalin pumping until they come to a stop and check that everything is in order. Saturday's trip to Sevilla is quickly followed by two visits to the Santiago Bernabéu. A fantastic week of football, and one which could shape much of the rest of Ernesto Valverde's season.
Sevilla and Madrid await
It's been almost a month since Sevilla won a game in the league (againt Levante on 26 January), and today is an opportunity to re-engage in the domestic competition, as well as give hope to other sides looking to dethrone Barça. They may have chosen to prioritise the Europa League but have their fourth place in LaLiga under threat and need to ensure they hold onto it.
With Barcelona opening up a gap at the top of the league, currently seven points, there will be a temptation to rotate some players for this game, knowing that the decisive Copa del Rey game is on Wednesday evening. A 1-1 first leg at the Camp Nou suggests Real Madrid are slight favourites but most people would agree that it is completely in the balance given the relative form of both teams. But listening to Valverde's words ahead of the game, it's unlikely there will be any concessions made for the Andalucian challenge.
Some players that could be left out of action are those that are a booking away from missing the league version of El Clásico, also taking place in Madrid just three days after the Copa battle. Rakitic, Lenglet and Arturo Vidal, therefore may be saved.