Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will square off at the Wanda Metropolitano, in Madrid, in a crunch La Liga clash on Saturday.
Barcelona haven’t had the best of starts in La Liga this season. The Spanish giants are in eight place on the table after seven rounds of matches – winning three, drawing and losing two each. However, recent results indicate that Ronald Koeman’s team is beginning to pick up form.
They backed up a 2-1 win against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League earlier in the month with an emphatic 5-2 victory over Real Betis in La Liga just before the international break.
But can they continue from where they left off when they travel to face an Atletico side that’s yet to lose a league game this season?
Atletico are third on the log – 3 points behind league leaders, Real Sociedad, though they have played two games less. They have drawn just two of their opening seven fixtures, winning five, including a comfortable 4-0 success against Cadiz their last time out. Winning their games in hand will put them top of the log as it stands.
Diego Simeone’s men have been quite sensational in the league, scoring 17 goals and conceding just twice so far. They’re the second highest scoring side, and no other team has conceded less.
It will be interesting to see if they can keep up the momentum when they face Lionel Messi and co.
You can back both teams to score. Given Atletico Madrid’s form and how Barcelona appear to be hitting their stride, this should be an entertaining contest and they should both be able to hurt each other at opposite ends.
Also, you back Atletico’s João Felix to score at any time.
Felix is likely to start in attack and should be able to keep up his goalscoring form. The talented Portuguese has scored six goals in his last four outings in all competitions for Atletico – a very good run that includes a brace against Cadiz in their last league game.
He also bagged a goal for Portugal against Andorra last week while on international duty. That’s a hot streak and he should be confident about adding to his tally when he comes up against Barca, and strengthen his claim as one of Europe’s hottest strikers.
Atletico Madrid: Luiz Suarez will miss the chance to face his former side after testing positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Uruguay.
Striker Diego Costa is a doubt for the match, while right-back Sime Vrsaljko remains sidelined with a muscle injury.
Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, Mario Hermoso and Victor Vitolo are also doubts for the weekend game.
Barcelona: The Blaugrana will be without star boy, Ansu Fati, who’s out until February with a muscle injury. Sergio Busquets is also out with a muscle injury, while Ronald Araujo is still under assessment.
Both teams to score.
Both sides attacked superbly in their respective last league games, with Atletico finding the back of the net four times; Barcelona, five times. They should ride that wave of attacking confidence into this weekend’s encounter and be able to get on the scoresheet.
Also, the recent history between them suggest that they should, as four of their last five league meetings at Atletico’s home finished with both teams scoring.