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Falcao and Messi at Camp Nou PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

On Sunday night, Barça could be celebrating their 22nd Liga title if they beat Atlético Madrid, regardless of Real Madrid’s result away to Espanyol the day before, where a Madrid defeat would hand them the title anyway.

Difficult journey

But it won’t be easy. Barça have a negative record in games away to the Atlético, with 37 defeats, 19 draws and just 20 wins in Liga history.

That said, in the last two seasons the results have gone their way with two 2-1 wins at the Vicente Calderón.

Best Atlético for years

But things have very much been taking a turn for the better since Diego Pablo Simeone took the reins at the club, leading them to UEFA Europa-League and European Supercup victories.

The red-and-whites have also made into this season’s Copa del Rey final and are already guaranteed third place in La Liga and Champions League football next season. That’s their highest finish since their double-winning season of 1996, when current boss Simeone was a member of the playing staff.

Atlético Madrid have been especially solid this season on home turf, where they have only lost twice (to the two ‘Reals’, Sociedad and Madrid) and drawn once. The other 14 home fixtures have all gone their own way. Also, with just 27 goals conceded, they have by far the defensive home defensive record in the competition.

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