Barcelona must bounce back to knock Atletico Madrid out of the Champions League

After been beaten at the weekend by Real Sociedad, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says his team can not drop any more points in their remaining fixtures in La Liga. The are now top but the gap has been cut to only three points after the loss.

Over the last seven days Barcelona have lost to Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. Their nine points advantage has vanished and they now only have three-point separating themselves and Atletico Madrid in second. There are only six games left of the Spanish league, and one more slip up could see them losing their grips on becoming champions yet again.

Speaking to the press, Enrique said "It's obvious that we can't lose any more points now, we weren't at our best in recent games, and this league will be won be the most consistent team in the remaining games, no-one's going to leave here crying. We'll get out of it by changing everything and thinking about what we can do. Last year at this stage we were only two points above the second team with a worse head-to-head difference."

Barcelona fielded a weakened team against Real Sociedad and had key players Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic and leading goal scorer Luis Suarez missing. They were massively missed and Barca were a goal down after only five minutes of play. They failed to respond and it has given their rivals a glimmer of hope that they can over take them to the title.

The result was a repeat of last year, where they also lost 1-0 to Sociedad. It was a result that sparked them into life and in their next 20 matches they won 18 and won La Liga along with Champions League and the Copa del Rey. With the experience gained from last season, they will be confident that they can repeat the same feat again this year.

The result should not change punters Champions League round of 8 predictions, as with a full team out on display they should progress to the final. They were in most experts Champions League picks and this latest setback should not affect them in the world's most prestigious competition.

Barcelona are the hot favorites when it comes to Champions League round of 8 predictions. They have a two one advantage over Atletico and should have enough in the locker to see them through to the semi-finals. Atletico were in many experts Champions League picks and were unlucky to draw Barca before the final. If they can overcome the goal deficit they will be in with a very good chance of winning the tournament.

It is a critical few weeks ahead for Barca and their season could end or go on to be another magnificent trophy packed season. They will need to go undefeated until the season end but if anyone can do that, a team with Messi, Neymar and Suarez can.

Written by Tony Samboras. You can read his predictions for Champions league round 8 here.