Three key games towards Barcelona winning La Liga

Camp Nou, Barcelona - Mes Que un Club

The next three outings for Barcelona might be decisive if they're to stay ahead of Real Madrid in the title race.

With just eight games remaining in La Liga this season, the title race between Barcelona and Real Madrid heads into the home straight.

Both sides are still battling for La Liga supremacy and remain in the Champions League, whilst Barcelona are also in the Copa del Rey final.

Despite the outcome of the most recent Clasico, with Barcelona claiming the points and opening up a four-point lead at the top of the table, there's still very much everything to play for, when looking at the fixtures they and Real Madrid must yet confront.

Real Madrid:

Eibar (H), Malaga (H), Celta Vigo (A), Almeria (H), Sevilla (A), Valencia (H), Espanyol (A), Getafe (H).

Barcelona:

Sevilla (A), Valencia (H), Espanyol (A), Getafe (H), Cordoba (A), Real Sociedad (H), Atletico Madrid (A), Deportivo la Coruna (H).

A glance at the opponents the two sides will face suggests, arguably, Barcelona have the slightly harder selection of fixtures, compared to Real Madrid, whilst the timing of those games is also important.

Indeed, and as far as Barcelona are concerned, it's the next three games that can be viewed as particularly crucial when it comes to maintaining their lead above their arch-rivals.

Sevilla have a spectacular home record at the Sánchez-Pizjuan, having avoided defeat for over a year in La Liga. Just to underline that record, the last home defeat came against none other than Barcelona, on 9th February 2014. However, Emery's side certainly won't make this game an easy clash.

Following their trip to the Andaluz capital against one side pushing hard for a Champions League finish, they must face another. The next home game at the Camp Nou will see Barcelona host Valencia, who won there last season, plus, the visitors have a much stronger team compared to the previous campaign.

The trio of key encounters concludes with a trip across town for the Catalan derby. Whilst there's no doubting Barcelona will be seen as favourites, Espanyol also have a very strong home record this season at the Power8 Stadium, and won't think twice about throwing a spanner in the works for their illustrious city rivals.

As such, winning all three of these games will be of paramount importance for Barcelona. Even the slightest slip from Luis Enrique's side gives Real Madrid a chance to plant themselves firmly back into the race. An opportunity Carlo Ancelotti's team certainly won't renounce.

Like Barcelona, Real Madrid must also face Sevilla and Valencia over consecutive weekends, after which the title might well be practically decided, depending how Los Blanco's get on during those two key games of their own.

Among the two remaining games of the campaign, Barcelona must face the daunting prospect of a trip to Atletico Madrid. Although Diego Simeone's side have little chance of retaining their La Liga crown, they'll quite happily give Enrique's men another typically bruising battle at the Vicente Calderon before they let go of the trophy.

By the time Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruña and Real Madrid host Getafe on the final day of the season, the two games should most likely be dead rubbers, if the current gap of points is maintained. But depending on how this final run of games beforehand pans out, it will certainly be the day when the trophy heads either to the Camp Nou or the Santiago Bernabeu.

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