Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as two giants of Spanish football meet.
|Sunday 8th January 2023
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Preview
Barcelona visit the Metropolitano on Sunday for the standout fixture this weekend in LaLiga. It’s a really significant night for both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona as they look for the kind of victory that could prove a launchpad for the remainder of the campaign.
Atletico Madrid certainly need something like that and so does their coach Diego Simeone whose future at the club beyond this season is under some scrutiny. El Cholo has specialised in proving the doubters wrong and eventually getting it right with Atleti over the years. Even a victory here would not really make much difference to their hopes of competing for this year’s league title, but it would serve as evidence that Atleti might just be on the right track at last after a miserable start to the season.
They have won both games since the World Cup, seeing off Elche in LaLiga and Real Oviedo in the Copa del Rey so they should be able to take a bit more confidence into this game at least. Perhaps the biggest positive since the resumption has been the emergence of Pablo Barrios with the teenaged midfielder taking his chance and putting himself in with a real chance of starting this game.
Barcelona lost this fixture early on last season and their performance on Sunday will be a good barometer of just how much progress they have made since then. It’s fair to say Xavi still has his doubters despite a strong start in LaLiga and they will grow a little louder should they lose here with defeats in big games against the strongest opponents a recurring theme under his leadership so far.
Barcelona need their big players to stand up and produce on Sunday night, and they won’t be able to rely on the excellence of Robert Lewandowski here with the Polish striker suspended after his appeal was rejected. A draw in the Catalan derby last weekend and a shaky Copa del Rey showing in Alicante suggests all is not quite right with Barca right now with some players only just back from the World Cup while others are struggling for fitness following injuries.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Oblak – Reinildo, Gimenez, Savic – Carrasco, Barrios, Witsel, Griezmann, Llorente – Felix, Morata (3-5-2)
Coach: Diego Simeone
Possible XI: Ter Stegen – Balde, Christensen, Kounde, Roberto – Gavi, Busquets, Pedri – Raphinha, Ferran, Dembele (4-3-3)
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona
Prior to the World Cup, you’d have probably fancied Barcelona to come here and win, but the very early signs suggest Atleti may be on an upward curve following the resumption while Barça haven’t looked as strong defensively as was the case before Qatar. The absence of Lewandowski is also an obvious and major blow which may just tilt what should be a tight game in Atleti’s favour.
PLEASE NOTE – Our LaLiga predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish football. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.