Barcelona are facing down the potential end of an era in Spanish football. They're trailing Atlético Madrid in the league table, and if the Rojiblancos can match the result they got at the Vicente Calderon in league play, they'll progress past Barca in the UEFA Champions League.
The away goal that Atléti got at the Camp Nou might have been a lucky one -- Diego's wonderstrike wasn't exactly a high percentage effort -- but their performance deserved a draw. They conceded a goal after packing it in deep, but between the opening whistle and Diego's goal, they were the better side and had Barcelona's attack looking extremely tame.
Barcelona's improvement after Cesc Fabregas was substituted for Alexis Sanchez puts Gerardo Martino in a tough spot for this match. He likely sees his midfield as more solid defensively and transitionally with both Fabregas and Andres Iniesta on the pitch, but riding out Fabregas' poor form hasn't resulted in a turnaround yet. His side needs goals and his first choice advanced playmaker isn't producing them.
Both teams are dealing with significant injury issues, though Atléti's may hit harder. Diego Costa and Arda Turan have not been training in the build-up to this match. Turan seems highly unlikely to play, while Costa could make the bench with a "break glass in case of emergency" sign on him. In their absences, expect all of David Villa, Raúl Garcia and Jose Sosa to start.
Gerard Pique misses out for Barcelona, meaning Carles Puyol has been named in the squad. He might not get cleared by doctors to play, but at this point in his career, he probably doesn't care. Victor Valdes is out as well, while long-term absentees Jonathan Dos Santos and Isaac Cuenca remain sidelined.
Match date/time: Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain
TV: FOX Sports 2 (U.S. - English), FOX Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada), Canal+ (Spain)
Online: FOX Sports Go (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.), Sportsnet World Online (Canada)