Barcelona-Atlético Madrid: Xavi returns to daylight doubts
The complaints from the Barcelona coach last week about the match being played during the sunny hours will come to light again today.
Barcelona returns to LaLiga on Sunday with kick off set for 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET), so, following what happened last week after the Getafe match, one of the questions for manager Xavi at the pre-match press conference today is a given.
Xavi unhappy with Barcelona daytime fixtures
Xavi complained, inexplicably, after the Getafe match last weekend that his Barcelona players were not used to playing in the sun and at that time of day, with the pitch somewhat dry and not in the best condition. The coach’s words were heavily criticised by some of the press and by rivals. Even the opposing coach, Quique Sánchez Flores, joked about this argument by proposing a tanning cream as a solution.
At least one question, therefore, at the pre-match press conference on Saturday, ahead of the big game against in-form Atlético Madrid, is set. Along with the usual questions about Lionel Messi and the future of Sergio Busquets, there will be something around the environment aspects of the match, normally something that doesn’t get too much importance.
For Barcelona, a victory would effectively secure the LaLiga title, and dispel questions of mental fragility raised after recent results. The current gap to second-placed Real Madrid is 11 points, and games are running out for any comeback, Los Blancos also eyeing Champions League glory.
For Atlético Madrid, the hottest team in the league, a victory at the Camp Nou could be a factor in them overtaking their city rivals to take second place. Diego Simeone’s side sit just two points adrift.
Whatever happens, it will take place in a sunny Camp Nou stadium, on a holiday weekend in Catalonia when they celebrate San Jordi (the club also complained about the scheduling). It’s worth noting that historically this has not been been a positive weekend for the culés.