Important Match in the La Liga. When Barcelona hosts Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Saturday, the exciting La Liga title race could take another turn.
The title race in Spain’s top flight is down to the wire, with just two points separating the top three teams – Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona. Another chapter in this thrilling title race will be written on Saturday when Barcelona hosts Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.
Barcelona has made tremendous progress under Ronald Koeman’s guidance, and they have become by far the most exciting team in La Liga this season. The Blaugrana, on the other hand, have a history of underwhelming performances, as shown most recently against Granada. Though Ronald Koeman’s side has the third best home record. They have lost six of their 17 games at Camp Nou.
For months, Atletico Madrid set the pace in La Liga, with their lead at the top of the table once reaching double figures. However, after winning just seven of their last 14 league games, they have narrowed their lead to just two points. However, their fates are still in their hands, and with the best defensive record in the Premier League, Diego Simeone and co. Would be optimistic.
In November, Atletico Madrid eked out a 1-0 victory over Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Yannick Carrasco scoring the game’s only goal. The Barcelona Agency examines the matchup ahead of the most recent meeting between the two teams.
Team News & Tactics
On the team news front, Ronald Koeman has received a boost ahead of Atletico Madrid’s visit. Barcelona will be without two first-team players on Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho (knee) and Ansu Fati (left knee arthroscopy this week) the only players unavailable.
The good news is that Martin Braithwaite has returned to the team, giving Koeman even more attacking options. Braithwaite, on the other hand, has no chance of starting and will be a bench choice alongside Ousmane Dembele and Francisco Trincao, with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann forming Barcelona’s strike partnership.
Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Sergio Busquets form a midfield trio that will be crucial for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid. Busquets, who will be backed up by de Jong and Pedri defensively, will try to contain Marcos Llorente. While de Jong and Pedri will be in charge of providing creative impetus higher up the pitch by linking up with Messi. Important Match in the La Liga
The option between Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza at the back will be crucial, with the former getting the nod to partner Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet in the three-man central defensive unit. Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba should start as the two wing-backs. While Marc-Andre ter Stegen should start in goal for Barcelona.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): ter Stegen; Araujo, Pique, Lenglet; Dest, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Griezmann
Diego Simeone, unlike his counterpart in the Barcelona dugout, has no health problems to contend with ahead of the trip to Camp Nou. In reality, the Atletico Madrid manager will have a full squad at his disposal on Saturday, with Renan Lodi back in the lineup.
Lodi, on the other hand, is unlikely to be included in Simeone’s back three, which would be made up of Stefan Savic, Jose Maria Gimenez, and Mario Hermoso. Jan Oblak, who will be making his 300th appearance for Atletico Madrid, will be covered by the three centre-backs.
Kieran Trippier and Yannick Carrasco are the wing-backs, with Trippier effectively playing as a right-back during the defensive phases. While Los Rojiblancos will form a 4-4-2 formation.
Koke will start at the back of a three-man midfield, with Marcos Llorente and Thomas Lemar starting ahead of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Lucas Torreira, Hector Herrera, and Saul Niguez, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona. Important Match in the La Liga
Llorente and Lemar will provide defensive cover for Koke while also pushing forward from midfield. Allowing them to link up with the two Atletico Madrid strikers – the in-form Angel Correa and former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Trippier, Llorente, Koke, Lemar, Carrasco; Correa, Suarez
Barcelona has just lost one of their previous 21 La Liga games against Atletico Madrid (W14 D6), a 1-0 loss in the reverse fixture. In reality, Atletico Madrid has lost 14 of their last 14 league games on the road against Barcelona (D4 L10), the longest current winless streak against any La Liga team.
- Barcelona has a league-high 49 points in 2021 (W16 D1 L2), eight more than Atletico Madrid (41 – W12 D5 L3) over the same time.
- This season, Atletico Madrid has conceded the fewest goals in La Liga (22) while Barcelona has scored the most goals (80).
- Barcelona has the best offensive home record in La Liga (43 goals). While Atletico Madrid has the best defensive record on the road (23 goals allowed) (13 goals conceded).
- Lionel Messi just has a better all-competition record against Sevilla (38 goals in 43 appearances) than he does against Atletico Madrid (32 in 42 outings).
Player to Watch
Lionel Messi has once again led by example in what has proved to be a fruitful campaign for Barcelona. Although Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele have given him a lot of help at different times this season. No Barcelona player has been as consistent as the captain fantastic.
The Argentine wizard was in fine form against Valencia last time out. Scoring a game-winning brace to bring his La Liga tally to 28 for the season. The emphasis will now shift to maintaining his incredible record against Atletico Madrid. Where he has 26 league goals against the Colchoneros. Can Messi deliver in Barcelona’s most crucial match of the season?
Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid
Both teams know that a victory would place them in the driving seat in the La Liga title chase. Assuming Sevilla will take any points away from Real Madrid on Sunday. Both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are in a position where their fates are in their own hands. But Diego Simeone is well aware that with the Blaugrana breathing down his side’s neck. Even a minor blunder can be fatal. Important Match in the La Liga
In the end, it should ultimately come down to a fight between Barcelona’s in-form attack. And Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The hosts should win this match by the tiniest of margins, thanks to Messi’s inspired play. In light of this, The Brcelona Agency expects a 1-0 victory for Ronald Koeman.