Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona predictions, H2H and match preview for this Saturday’s game in La Liga. Read on for analysis and predicted line-ups as Atleti aim for their first league win over the Catalan giants in the Simeone era.
DATE/TIME – Saturday 24th November 2018, 20:45 (Spanish Time)
STADIUM – Wanda Metropolitano
COMPETITION – La Liga
This is the game of the weekend in La Liga and perhaps in Europe and sees two of the main title contenders meet at the Wanda. Diego Simeone is still searching for his first league win against Barcelona and if he can get it here, Atleti would truly announce themselves as very serious title contenders. They take on a Barca side that might just be a wounded animal after a shock 4-3 loss to Betis last time out.
That was another example of what is now pretty clearly an increase in Barcelona’s defensive vulnerability. A move to a midfield three rather than four is partly the cause of that while Samuel Umtiti’s injury problems are also a factor. The international break has featured fresh speculation over Ousmane Dembele’s future too. The winger’s lifestyle is increasingly becoming a cause for concern so there are a few issues in the Barca camp heading into this key game.
Atletico Madrid meanwhile have spent the last fortnight trying to get defenders fit. All four of their main centre-backs had injuries by the end of the last match against Athletic. However that didn’t stop a limping Diego Godin from scoring a last gasp winner. If ever there was an ‘Atleti/Godin’ moment it was that and it again showcased Diego Simeone side’s extraordinary knack for finding a way.
Stefan Savic and Lucas Hernandez are training again so they should be stronger defensively here and that’s obviously key against a fit again Leo Messi who has had two weeks to get psyched up for this one. Messi invariably is key when it comes to this fixture and in his whole career, only against Sevilla has he scored more goals against a single opponent. Barca should also have Philippe Coutinho fit so it’ll be interesting to see whether Valverde opts for a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 here.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: 1-1 Draw
Up against the Atleti side that featured last time out, you’d have really fancied Barcelona and Messi to claim a key victory. However with defensive reinforcements, Atleti should be able to get a result. Neither side has fully convinced this term and both Ernesto Valverde and Diego Simeone will most likely be content to walk away from this game with a point apiece.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona H2H
- Last 6 meetings: 3 Barcelona Wins, 3 Draws
- Atleti’s last league win against Barcelona was in February 2010 as Quique Sánchez Flores’ side won 2-1 against Pep Guardiola’s Barca.
- They’ve not won any of the 16 league meetings since.
- However Diego Simeone’s Atleti have twice knocked Barca out of the Champions League in the past five years.
One to Watch – Leo Messi
Only against Sevilla (31) and Atletico Madrid (28) has Lionel Messi scored more goals against than Real Madrid (26).
Always has his say. pic.twitter.com/jaOiNFUdgh
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 6, 2018
Diego Simeone claimed that Leo Messi was the only difference between the sides after Barca’s key 1-0 win against Atleti last season. The Barca skipper has relished this fixture down the years scoring 28 times against the side from the capital. If he’s on top of his game here, he could just be the difference-maker again.
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Predicted Line Ups
Atletico Madrid Team:
Oblak – Juanfran, Savic, Lucas, Filipe Luis – Koke, Rodri, Saul, Lemar – Griezmann, Costa (4-4-2)
ter Stegen – Alba, Umtiti, Pique, Sergi Roberto – Arthur, Busquets, Vidal – Coutinho, Suarez, Messi (4-3-3)