Barcelona and Atletico Madrid combined XI ahead of LaLiga showdown
Defending champions Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid on Sunday in what promises to be the showpiece attraction in La Liga this weekend. League leaders Barcelona seem to have rediscovered their form after an uncertain start to the campaign and have won four of their last five league games.
They comfortably dispatched German heavyweights Borussia Dortmund in their last match in the UEFA Champions League at Camp Nou, with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez getting in among the goals.
On the other hand, Atletico Madrid have had a lukewarm campaign so far as they lie in fourth place, three points behind Barcelona. They have won only two of their last five games in the league, and their last game ended in defeat to Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday.
A win for Barcelona could put a further dent on Atletico Madrid's faint title hopes. However, Los Rojiblancos would be keen to bounce back from their tumultuous start to the season and could very well put the title race wide open with a win on their own turf.
So, without further ado, here is the combined XI.
Goalkeeper - Marc-André ter Stegen
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have the distinction of having two of the world's best keepers in ter Stegen and Oblak. Picking one to start between the posts is an extremely tough choice. However, it is quite evident that Oblak has underperformed this season, especially if we consider the high standards the Slovenian set for himself last season.
On the other hand, Ter Stegen has been relatively more composed as the last line of defence and has been instrumental in the Champions League, conceding only three goals in five games for the Blaugrana and his performance against Dortmund on Matchday 1 of was nothing short of exceptional. Also, considering Barcelona's faltering defence this season, three clean sheets in the league for ter Stegen is praiseworthy, to say the least.