Match Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Match Preview: Atletico Madrid	vs	Barcelona

Kick off 8:00pm

Team News

 Atletico Madrid
  • Diego Simeone has concerns over the fitness of Mario Suarez and Filipe Luis, though both are still expected to be available.
  • Captain Gabi returns after serving his suspension in the Copa Del Rey draw with Valencia.
  • Juanfran has had his suspension overturned after the Competition Committee decided to rescind his yellow card. Consequently, he will be available for selection.
 Barcelona
  • Lionel Messi returned to action midweek against Getafe after 59 days out injured and wasted no time getting back on the scoresheet. After starting from the bench against the Madrid outfit, the Argentine is to return to the starting XI.
  • Marc Bartra was rested midweek, but could shake off his hamstring strain in time to partner Gerard Pique in defence.
  • Tata Martino will be happy to have key man Sergio Busquets available again after he missed the Elche game due to suspension.

Match Facts

Barcelona have won 21 of their last 23 matches in La Liga.  
Atletico have won 17 of their last 19 matches in La Liga.  
Atletico have been drawing at half time and winning at full time in their last 4 matches in La Liga.  
Barcelona have been winning at both half time and full timein 8 of their last 10 away matches in La Liga.  
Atletico have scored at least 2 goals in their last 9 home matches in La Liga.  
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 8 of Atletico’s last 9 home games in La Liga.  
Atletico have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 matches in La Liga.  
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Barcelona’s last 6 games in La Liga.  
Barcelona are undefeated in their last 8 matches against Atletico in all competitions.  
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Prediction

  • Xavi has promised that it will be a “great spectacle” between the joint leaders and with both managers having their star personnel available, it certainly should be. The two sides drew both games when they met at the beginning of the year in the Spanish Super Cup and it is likely to be an equally tight affair that could end with the spoils shared.
  • Diego Simeone tends to surprise with his selections for the big games, but what is almost certain is that Diego Costa will start and be partnered by former Barca striker David Villa.
  • As for Tata Martino, he will be delighted to be able to count on Lionel Messi again, who will take his usual place in the centre of attack. In-form Alexis Sanchez will partner the Brazilian and Neymar in what should make for a fiercely impressive front line that even Atletico will struggle to contain.
Prediction:

 Atletico Madrid

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Barcelona 
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