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FC Barcelona face a tough challenge on Sunday when they take on Atlético Madrid in Week 24 of La Liga, the last ever meeting between the two teams at Vicente Calderón.
A crucial three points are at stake which would be enough to take Luis Enrique’s men to the top of the table, albeit temporarily, as they push for the league title.
Luis Enrique announced his 18-man squad after the final training session before the game, where it was revealed that Arda Turan, Javier Mascherano and Aleix Vidal would miss out through injury. Jordi Masip also failed to make the cut but for technical reasons.
Los Colchoneros have been boosted by the return of defender Diego Godín to the squad, who had been out since picking up an injury the return leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals against Barça at the Camp Nou earlier this month.
The Barça boss, during his press conference, spoke of his confidence that the team can still turn things around in La Liga but understands the difficulty of the upcoming game:
“There are many league matches to play. It is clear that it is difficult to win matches, and it is the case for all teams. Our objective is to play a good game and win the three points.”
Diego Simeone said that, despite Barça’s heavy defeat in Paris a few weeks ago, “they remain the best team in the world” while about his own team sitting in fourth place said “there is plenty of La Liga still to play”.
Barça have won their last three league matches in a row and are undefeated in La Liga since early October. In what has been a demanding start to the new year, the Catalans have won five of their seven league games in 2017, with the two draws coming away from home at Villarreal and Real Betis.
Atlético have also won their last three games in La Liga, as well as also having a record of five wins and two draws from their seven league games in 2017.
Sunday’s encounter will be the fourth between the pair this season. Barça recently knocked Atlético out of the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage with a 3-2 aggregate win, while the league meeting at Camp Nou earlier in the campaign ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the eleven battles since Luis Enrique took over as manager, Barça have won seven, Atlético have won just one and two have been draws.
No matter where you are in the world we have you covered. You can also listen to live play-by-play streamed in English on Radio Barça, as well as follow our minute-by-minute updates on FC Barcelona's official English language Twitter account as the action unfolds. Don't miss it!
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