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Barcelona v Atletico Madrid – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Barcelona host Atletico Madrid at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Sunday night in La Liga.

Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Barcelona host Atletico Madrid at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Sunday night in La Liga. The sides are level on points with a four-point gap to log leaders, Real Madrid. Blaugrana have six wins in seven home league matches whilst Atleti have lost two of their last four on the road.

Barcelona Form

Barcelona began this season with 10 wins and three draws in 13 matches across La Liga and cup competitions. After drawing 2-2 at Mallorca, they won four of their next five matches by a one-goal margin as the goals began to dry up somewhat. A late 2-1 home loss to Real Madrid followed after dominating the first half.

A 1-0 win at Real Sociedad needed a last-minute winner before losing 1-0 away to Shakhtar Donetsk. Recent matches have been a real struggle to get results. They came from 1-0 down to beat Alaves 2-1 at home. A 1-1 draw followed at Rayo Vallecano thanks to an 82nd-minute equaliser. In midweek, Barca beat Porto 2-1 at home having trailed 1-0.

Barcelona Team News

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is a major doubt having missed the last two fixtures with a back injury. Inaki Pena is on standby to deputise once again in goal. Gavi is sadly out long-term after a serious knee injury whilst playing for Spain.

Xavi has a clean bill of health otherwise. Joao Cancelo could play as left back in preference to Alex Balde if he can shake off a muscle injury. Andreas Christensen will hope to be recalled in place of Inigo Martinez in central defence.

Barcelona Motivation

Barcelona are not playing with top confidence right now and some of their football is a bit stodgy.

They are focusing on results and closing the gap in La Liga so any win will do in this match. The style of play will be secondary at the moment.

Atletico Form

Atletico only lost once in their first 11 matches of this season. That defeat was a shock 3-0 defeat at Valencia despite having 63% possession in the match. At one point, they won six matches on the spin with 14 goals scored. A 2-2 draw at Celtic followed on matchday three of the Champions League.

After beating Alaves 2-1, they were surprisingly turned over 2-1 away at Las Palmas. Four successive victories have followed that shock setback. Atletico beat Celtic 6-0 in Europe as they faced ten men from the 23rd minute onwards. A 3-1 home win over Villarreal preceded a 1-0 home victory over Mallorca. In midweek, a 3-1 win at Feyenoord sealed qualification into the Champions League Knockout Rounds.

Atletico Team News

Left wingback Vitolo is out long-term after knee surgery. Thomas Lemar has missed 10 weeks of action and will play no part in this big match. Pablo Barrios is also ruled out due to a knee injury sustained in midweek.

Diego Simeone could name an unchanged XI from midweek. A 3-5-2 shape was used in the Netherlands, and we may see the same in this match. Saul Niguez is the only player who could be handed a start, but Rodrigo De Paul is set to be preferred.

Atletico Motivation

Atletico have been attacking and free flowing this season with 30 goals scored in 13 matches.

However, they played much more defensively in beating Real Madrid earlier this season. Diego Simeone could revert to a more transition-focused approach to get at least a point in Catalonia.

Key Stats

Barcelona have lost 2 of their last 6 matches

Barcelona’s last 8 wins have all come by one-goal margins

Barcelona have kept just 1 clean sheet in the last 7 matches

Atletico Madrid have won 4 matches in a row (13 goals scored)

Atletico have won just 3 of their last 9 away matches in La Liga

Atletico have lost their last 3 matches vs Barcelona


The hosts are having to grind out results at the moment, whilst Simeone’s team are free flowing. Recent meetings have seen Barcelona as the victors, and they could nick another win in this one by a single-goal margin.

Best Bet: Barcelona win at 2.05
Alternative Bet: Barcelona win/draw double chance + Over 2.5 goals at 2.45
Value Bet: Barcelona to win by exactly 1 goal at 3.80

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