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On the back of two big victories, FC Barcelona will now be looking to for a return to winning ways at home in the league, but it will not be easy against an in-form Atlético Madrid side (Wednesday 10.00pm CET), as La Liga’s best attack faces the best defence.
The big news from the Barça camp going into the game is the injury picked up by Samuel Umtiti during Tuesday’s training session that rules the Frenchman out of the big Week 5 clash.
Jordi Masip, Rafinha and Aleix Vidal also miss out in the following squad: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Arda, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, J Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Mathieu.
For Atlético, as well as Alessio Cerci and Miguel Ángel Moyà (knee injuries), veteran midfielder Tiago Mendes is out with a hamstring problem.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday Luis Enrique said: "We have to limit our mistakes and stick to our game plan,” before adding that “no game against Atlético is easy”.
The manager knows Atlético very well, and noted that they “base their game on being solid at the back,” but also highlighting that they “have quality strikers and great mobility”.
Diego Simeone also gave his thoughts on the upcoming clash, where he spoke highly of Barça: “They still play brilliant football. They have the most decisive players both individually and as a unit, and that puts them in an incredible position.”
Barça’s last home league outing ended in a surprise 2-1 defeat to Alavés. The team has reacted in the best possible way since then, beating Celtic 7-0 in the Champions League and then winning 5-1 at Leganés on Saturday and, now, the Catalans will be looking to get back to winning ways in front of their own supporters in La Liga.
Since drawing their opening two games of the season, Atlético enter the fixture in a rich vein of recent form, winning their last three matches without conceding a goal, and their most recent was a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon.
There have been plenty of classics between the two sides in this fixture in recent years. Atlético have not won a match at the Camp Nou since 2006, when Fernando Torres scored twice in a 3-1 win. But that’s not to say Atlético have not had joy at the Camp Nou.
After all, in 2014, a 1-1 draw on the final day of La Liga was enough to hand Atlético the title at the expense of Barça. It came in the same year that a draw by the same score in the Champions League quarter finals eventually saw Atlético progress.
From then on, Barça went on to win seven consecutive matches in all competitions against Los Rojiblancos, but Simeone’s men currently own the bragging rights after ending that miserable run with a 2-0 win at the Vicente Calderon in last season’s Champions League last eight to again knock the Catalans out.
Worldwide TV coverage
No matter where you are in the world we have you covered. Twitter users can follow @FCBarcelona for live, minute-by-minute updates of all the action and there will be live English commentary on Radio Barça.
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