Barcelona begin new face-saving period 

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Madrid, April 15 (IANS) After being eliminated from the European Champions League quarter-finals against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, as well as being defeated in their last two La Liga clashes against Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, Barcelona will be hosting Valencia in week 33 of the domestic campaign on Sunday.

Barcelona have no other option except to win at the Camp Nou stadium next and save face in order to at least secure the La Liga title for the current football season, reports Efe.

The Valencia mission will not be an easy one, as Barcelona have been fading out of the scene and could not surpass the 76 point mark, while Atletico Madrid in second place closed the points gap to only three, followed by Real Madrid with four points.

Barcelona’s situation has further exacerbated by losing Wednesday’s match against Atletico Madrid 0-2 in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, which raises a question regarding the effectiveness of the Blaugrana’s MSN (Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar).

The attacking trio is obliged to respond to that question against Valencia, who currently hold 12th position with 37 points after they finally tasted victory against Sevilla in the previous round following four straight defeats.

On the contrary, Real Madrid are enjoying a good period after winning the Clasico and made a 3-0 comeback against Wolfsburg on Tuesday in the Champions League quarter-finals, when Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo scored a lifesaving hat-trick.

Real Madrid will be having an easy journey in week 33 of La Liga when the group visits Getafe.

Atletico Madrid, euphoric after eliminating Barcelona from the Champions League, will be hosting modest team Granada on Sunday.

Villarreal are looking forward to securing at least their current fourth place, which qualifies them to the Champions League next season, when the Yellow Submarines visit Rayo Vallecano next Sunday.

Celta Vigo, currently holding fifth place and looking to snatch fourth position, will be hosting Real Betis on Saturday.

Athletic Bilbao in sixth place will visit Malaga on Sunday, while Sevilla will be hosting Deportivo La Coruna.

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