Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups ahead of this huge clash at the Wanda Metropolitano.
|Saturday 2nd October 2021
|21:00 (local time)
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Preview
The biggest game of the season so far in Spain sees the teams that finished 1st and 3rd last season meet at the Wanda Metropolitano. It will see Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez line up against their former employers as Atleti bid to inflict more misery on Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona.
Diego Simeone’s struggles in league football against the Catalan giants are well documented but his Atleti side finally defeated Barça in this fixture last season. They will be clear favourites to repeat that here and it’s very rare Atleti have gone into this fixture in such circumstances.
Atletico Madrid do though have issues of their own. They’ve been unconvincing in LaLiga so far and slumped to a 1-0 loss last weekend away to an Alaves side that hadn’t previously picked up a point. They did though bounce back well in midweek with two late goals sealing a vital 2-1 comeback win in Milan which does wonders for their chances of getting out of what is a very tough UEFA Champions League group.
Antoine Griezmann was the man who sparked that comeback with his first goal back at the club. That should do plenty for his confidence levels and inevitably much of the focus will be on the Frenchman here. It could be the kind of night where he can get back into the hearts of Atleti fans by putting in a big display against his former employers and you sense there’s nothing Griezmann would love more than putting in a strong showing here against a club that never fully embraced him.
As for Barcelona, they travel to Madrid after a fresh low in midweek in the shape of a 3-0 loss to Benfica leaving many questioning whether Barça have now truly hit rock bottom. They are in danger of not progressing from their Champions League group and they have a really tough run of games coming up in LaLiga which could potentially end their title challenge before it has even really begun if performance levels do not improve.
The latest developments in the soap opera that is FC Barcelona suggest Joan Laporta is actively seeking a replacement for Koeman who will serve a touchline ban here in any case. The Dutchman may see this as one last shot at getting the kind of result which may keep him in a job and as such is likely to just name his strongest possible eleven even if that means starting the likes of Ansu Fati who could perhaps do with a gentler reintroduction back into the first team fold.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Atletico Madrid Wins, 2 Barcelona Wins, 2 Draws.
- Atleti are unbeaten in 4 games against Barcelona in all competitions.
- They claimed their first ever league win against the Catalans in the Simeone era last season in this fixture.
- Barcelona’s last victory over Atleti was a 1-0 triumph in Madrid in December 2019.
Kieran Trippier is a slight doubt for Atleti but they have no major concerns ahead of this one.
Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite and Sergio Aguero are out injured while Jordi Alba is a major doubt for Barcelona. Pedri has suffered an injury relapse and also misses the trip.
Predicted Atleti Starting Lineup:
Oblak – Hermoso, Gimenez, Savic – Carrasco, Lemar, Koke, Llorente, Trippier – Griezmann, Suarez (3-5-2)
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Ter Stegen – Dest, Araujo, Pique, Garcia, Mingueza – Busquets, De Jong, Gavi – Depay, Fati (5-3-2)
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona
Barcelona just look vulnerable at the moment whenever they come up against strong opposition and it’s hard to fancy them in a game of this magnitude. They may have some key players back now but whether they are fully fit yet is more doubtful and Atleti look capable of building on their midweek success with a statement victory.