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Atletico Madrid v Barcelona – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Atletico Madrid host Barcelona in La Liga on Sunday night.

Atletico Madrid v Barcelona

Atletico Madrid host Barcelona in La Liga on Sunday night. The hosts sit six points off Blaugrana in the table and have lost their last four matches vs these opponents. Both sides had success in Europe in midweek as they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Atletico Form

After starting the new year well, Atletico have largely struggled of late. Their last nine matches have brought five losses including exiting the Copa del Rey. A 1-0 home defeat vs Athletic Bilbao in the Cup was followed by a 1-0 loss to Sevilla and a1-0 away defeat to Inter Milan as they allowed 2.30 xG.

After a draw at Almeria, they were thumped 3-0 at Athletic Bilbao to lose 4-0 on aggregate. A 2-1 home win over Real Betis was followed by a 2-0 defeat at Cadiz. In midweek, they won on penalties vs Inter Milan after a 2-1 victory after extra time in the Champions League. Atletico outshot Inter 23-15 and produced 2.73 xG.

Atletico Team News

Antoine Griezmann was fit enough to start in midweek as he played 106 minutes. He could be protected in this match with Wednesday’s goalscorer Memphis Depay getting a start alongside Alvaro Morata.

Jose Gimenez is a doubt in defence but Cesar Azpilicueta is back. Vitolo is out long-term injured and so is Thomas Lemar in the engine room.

Atletico Motivation

The Rojiblancos care about getting into the top four so they need to try to win the match. A draw means that Athletic Bilbao could leapfrog them into fourth spot.

Diego Simone has been playing a much more attacking and open style of late.

Barcelona Form

After two bad losses and Xavi announced he would resign in May, the players have put up a nine-match unbeaten streak with six wins and three draws. They won 2-1 at Celta Vigo before a solid 1-1 draw at Napoli in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg. A 4-0 home humbling of Getafe followed.

After a 0-0 draw at top-four rivals, Athletic Bilbao, they ground out a 1-0 home win over Mallorca. In midweek, Barcelona produced a top display to beat Napoli 3-1 at home to reach the UCL quarter-finals. They had 24 shots, 10 shots on target, and 2.73 xG in the victory.

Barcelona Team News

Gavi and Alejandro Balde are out for the season. Raphinha is fit and could start down the left in preference to Joao Felix. Ferran Torres is doubtful in attack.

Marcos Alonso and Frenkie De Jong are major doubts, and this match may come too soon for them. Sergi Roberto and Oriol Romeu came on to good effect on the hour mark in midweek and are options to freshen up the midfield.

Barcelona Motivation

The players look focused and determined right now. The eight-point gap to Real Madrid may be a bit much but Barcelona can finish second.

They may not play an overly expansive style away from home here. A point would be a good result.

Key Stats

Atletico Madrid have lost 5 of their last 9 matches

Atletico Madrid have conceded in 10 of their last 11 matches

Atleti have failed to score in 5 of their last 9 matches

Barcelona are unbeaten in 9 matches (6 wins, 3 draws)

Barcelona have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 4 matches

Barcelona have won the last 4 meetings between these sides (7-2 aggregate)


The last three clashes between these sides have seen 1-0 Barcelona wins. With two tired teams, this may be a low-scoring affair. I see Barca having enough to leave with a point.

Best Bet: Barcelona win/draw double chance at 1.60
Value Bet: Draw at 3.50
Alternate Bet: Under 2.5 goals at 2.20

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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