PREVIEW | FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid

PREVIEW | FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid

Victory on Saturday would see Ronald Koeman's team move to the top of the table for at least 24 hours

First against third and just two points separate them. FC Barcelona welcome La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid on Saturday at Camp Nou (4.15pm CEST) in clash between two of the biggest clubs in Europe that could turn out to be crucial in the battle for the league title. 

Diego Simeone's team have 76 points, two points above second placed Real Madrid and third placed Barça. A victory for Ronald Koeman's team would see them top the table for at least 24 hours as on Sunday Real Madrid face fourth placed Sevilla who are just behind on 70 points. 


Barça need to win every game and hope that Real Madrid slip up somewhere in the four games that remain. Four vital games that begin with the visit of Atlético and with them Luis Suárez, who faces his former team for the first time since his summer move to the Spanish capital. 


Atlético Madrid come into the game in the driving seat in the race for the league title, knowing that if they win their remaining fixtures no-one can stop them from being crowned La Liga champions. However, to do that they would need to win at Camp Nou for the first time since a brace from Fernando Torres and a goal from Maxi Rodríguez handed them a 3-1 win in the 2005/06 season. 


Since then Barça have gone on a 14 game unbeaten run against Atlético in the league with 10 wins and four draws, the most recent meeting ending 2-2 last season in a game that saw three penalties and an own goal. 


Another reason for optimism is Leo Messi's record against Atlético Madrid. 'Los colchoneros' are his second favourite team to play against as the Argentine has scored 32 goals against the Madrid side; he has only scored more goal against Sevilla. 



Simeone's team come to Camp Nou in need of a good result. Atlético took 50 points from the first 19 games of the season but since then they have stumbled somewhat and allowed both Barça and Real Madrid back into the race for the title. 

Former blaugrana Luis Suárez is their top scorer with 19 goals this season and Marcos Llorente has also been in spectacular form with 12 goals and 10 assists. 

Barça squad

Ronald Koeman has named a 23 man squad for the game with Braithwaite back after injury; Ter Stegen, Dest, Piqué, R. Araujo, Sergio, Griezmann, Pjanić, Braithwaite, Messi, O. Dembélé, Riqui Puig, Neto, Lenglet, Pedri, Trincão, Jordi Alba, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Umtiti, Junior, Ilaix Moriba, O. Mingueza and Arnau Tenas.

"Mental strength" will be vital according to Barça boss Ronald Koeman in his pre-game press conference on Friday. "Being at our best with the ball" is another key facet of the game for the Dutchman. 


Camp Nou is ready for what could turn out to be a key moment in the 2020/21 La Liga season. 

Força Barça
Força Barça

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