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Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Time – India: 1:30 AM (Sunday); UK: 8:00 PM (Saturday)
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano Stadium
Referee: Jose Munuera
Over the better part of the last decade, Atletico Madrid have established themselves as one of the most intimidating outfits in the Spanish top division. Yes, they’ve only managed to win a single La Liga title under Diego Simeone, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking the fight to the big boys — Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Barcelona, led by Lionel Messi’s unhappy state, are in a bit of a mess right now. They haven’t been consistent and sit six points behind Atletico Madrid after seven rounds of fixtures. A defeat on Saturday night can be catastrophic for the Catalans, and they cannot afford to fall so far behind Los Rojiblancos this early in the season.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Head-to-head
Total matches: 52
Atletico Madrid wins: 11
Barcelona wins: 27
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have a rich competitive history in La Liga. The Blaugrana, who have historically carried a much superior squad, lead the chart with 27 wins. Atletico, on the other hand, have managed to nick 11 direct wins over Saturday’s visitors, but their record of 14 draws has been frustrating for the 26-time winners.
Atletico Madrid’s last win over Barcelona came in the Spanish Supercup in January.
In La Liga, however, Atletico Madrid haven’t managed to beat Barcelona in over a decade.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Recent form
Atletico Madrid: W-D-W-W-W (Most recent first)
Barcelona: W-W-D-W-L (Most recent first)
Barcelona, aren’t exactly at their best, but they returned to winning ways in La Liga in their clash against Real Betis, just before the international break. The 5-2 win promised plenty and it would be interesting to see if they can produce the same level of football against one of the title contenders for the season.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, have been racking wins for fun and are yet to taste defeat in the Spanish top-flight.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Team news
Atletico Madrid’s in-form forward, Luis Suarez, has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is set to miss the match. His international team-mate, Lucas Torreira, is also dealing with the virus.
Diego Costa, too, is a doubt for the game. Hector Herrera, Mario Hermoso, Sime Vrsajlko, and Stefan Savic are also set to watch on from the stand.
Absentees: Hector Herrera, Mario Hermoso, Sime Vrsajlko, Stefan Savic, Luis Suarez, Lucas Torreira
Doubtful: Diego Costa
Barcelona, fortunately, don’t have as many absentees to deal with, but they would still miss three players — Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets, and Ronald Araujo. Philippe Coutinho has almost recovered from his hamstring injury and could be involved.
Absentees: Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets, Ronald Araujo
Doubtful: Philippe Coutinho
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Probable XI
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Gimenez, Lodi; Kondogbia, Llorente, Koke; Saul, Felix, Correa
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, De Jong; Dembele, Messi, Pedri; Griezmann
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Where to watch
India: No Telecast
UK: La Liga TV (Premier Sports)
Stream in India: Facebook Watch on Facebook
Stream in the UK: Premier Sports Player
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Prediction
Atletico Madrid’s excellent form in La Liga should give them enough motivation to go for the kill on Saturday night. They won’t have the services of Luis Suarez, of course, but they have some capable deputies to do the talisman’s bidding.
Barcelona, despite their inconsistent showings, will go into the match with a psychological edge. They know how great they have been against Atletico in La Liga over the last decade and would fancy themselves to get something out of their tricky trip. We predict a 1-1 stalemate at the Metropolitano on Saturday.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona predicted scoreline: 1-1