Defeat against Benfica would sink Barcelona to a new low

That Barcelona are still in with a chance to make it into the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League is something of a miracle in itself.

The Blaugranes still have a -4 goal difference and yet, with a win over Benfica on Tuesday night, they will qualify from the group.

Anything less will be a disaster for the Catalans who, even knowing how bad things have become on and off the pitch, surely haven’t countenanced being knocked out in the group stage.

In just his second game as coach, the match against the Portuguese giants could well become a defining game of Xavi’s reign.

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Were Barca to get the win they need, they’ll then have the luxury of playing a second string against Bayern Munich in the final group game.

Darwin Nunez

Furthermore, they should be relatively safe in the knowledge that by the time the competition starts again in March, things could look a whole lot different in terms of personnel and confidence.

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Fail to win, and it’s the Europa League – or worse – sinking the club down into the depths of the abyss.

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