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Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid prediction, preview, team news and more | La Liga 2019-20

  • Barcelona host Atletico on Tuesday evening in a match that could potentially decide the fate of the LaLiga title.
  • The Blaugrana suffered a hammer blow to their league ambitions after a 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo.
Sai Teja
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 29 Jun 2020, 17:55 IST
Lionel Messi attempts to win the ball in a duel with Renan Lodi
Lionel Messi attempts to win the ball in a duel with Renan Lodi

Barcelona prepare to host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday as they look to keep pace with LaLiga Santander leaders Real Madrid. The Blaugrana suffered a massive blow to their title aspirations after Iago Aspas' late equaliser away at Celta Vigo. The repercussions of conceding that goal are severe as Barcelona now find themselves two points behind Los Blancos.

Atleti undoubtedly will pose the biggest threat to Barcelona's title chase. Diego Simeone's side are one of the hardest teams to break down in Europe and have conceded just 23 goals this year. This figure is only bettered by their city rivals Real, who have conceded just two lesser. They climbed three spots since the restart of the league and currently sit in third place.

Atletico have been in superb form since the resart of play
Atletico have been in superb form since the resart of play

The ramifications of a loss at the Nou Camp would be catastrophic as Barcelona could find themselves up to five points behind the leaders with five games left.

Atleti would love to cause an upset at the top and find themselves in an impressive vein of form. The Catalans, meanwhile, are in an awkward moment after their draw against Celta. Winning every game from now till the end of the season will no longer be enough due to the two-point gap. Real Madrid have to drop points for Barcelona to have any hopes of winning the title.


Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Head-to-head

Barcelona have the edge going into this fixture as they haven't lost a league game to Atleti in over three years. Their last six meetings in LaLiga Santander have yielded four Catalan victories and two draws.

There might not necessarily be a goal-fest every time these two sides meet, but the tactical battles between them have always been impressive. Atleti's well-drilled 4-4-2 has posed Barcelona a fair few problems in the past. In fact, Los Colchoneros emerged victorious with a 3-2 scoreline the last time these two sides met in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final.

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The two clubs last met in January for the Spanish Super Cup
The two clubs last met in January for the Spanish Super Cup

Atleti have been in superb form since the restart of play and could look to continue that run. They were sixth when the league resumed and were held to a 1-1 draw with Athletic Club on June 14. Since then, they have won four games on the bounce and impressively climbed up the table to qualify for the Champions League.

Barcelona, meanwhile, won three of their five fixtures since the restart and dropped two points on two occasions — conceding their lead at the top to Real Madrid. Given the circumstances, Barcelona can accept nothing short of three points heading into the game.

Barcelona form guide: D-W-D-W-W

Atleti form guide: W-W-W-W-D


Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Team News

All eyes will be on Joao Felix on Tuesday night as the Portuguese wonderkid has just begun to find his feet in LaLiga. The 20-year-old moved for a whopping €126m to Atletico last summer and found the adaptation process to be challenging. He has looked in excellent touch since the restart and could be pivotal for Atleti's hopes of a result at the Nou Camp.

Atleti have no major injury concerns ahead of the crucial game. Sime Vrsaljko and Mario Hermoso are the only notable absentees for the game. However, star men Stefan Savic and Koke are set for one-match suspensions due to yellow card accumulation.

Felix could make the difference for Atleti on the night
Felix could make the difference for Atleti on the night

Barcelona, on the other hand, will be without their star midfielder Frenkie de Jong for the Atleti fixture. The Dutchman along with Ousmane Dembele is on Barcelona's injury list, while Sergi Roberto could make the bench after a rib injury.

Antoine Griezmann is fit but was left on the bench away at Celta, which could potentially be the case again. His position is unclear, however, and the Frenchman is likely to be drafted back into the line-up to face his former side. Sergio Busquets is available for selection once again after serving his one-match suspension and is expected to start.


Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Predicted XIs

Barcelona predicted XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Arturo Vidal, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid predicted XI (4-4-2): Jan Oblak; Kieran Trippier, Felipe, Jose Maria Gimenez, Renan Lodi; Angel Correa, Thomas Partey, Saul Niguez, Marcos Llorente; Joao Felix, Diego Costa


Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

Given that the game is of paramount importance to Barcelona, they are likely to come out all guns blazing against Atletico. Real Madrid face a trip away to Villarreal in the same round which could give the home side hope of Los Blancos dropping points. However, they have found Atleti's defence hard to break down in the past and could be hurt by Joao Felix & co on the counter. The fixture could end in a stalemate due to both sides' tight defences (particularly the away team) and the pressure of a possible title-decider. There is a high probability that it could be a low-scoring one given the two sides' history. 

Prediction: Barcelona 1-1 Atletico Madrid


Also read: Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid: 5 key battles that could determine Barcelona's fortunes in crucial title-decider | La Liga 2019-20

Published 29 Jun 2020, 17:44 IST
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