One of La Liga’s biggest fixtures will take place at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Sunday evening as Barcelona welcomes Atletico Madrid, both teams on 31 points and striving for an advantage in the league standings.
Barcelona secured an impressive 2-1 win over Porto in the Champions League, clinching a spot in the last-16 stage.
Despite their comeback against Porto, Xavi’s side seeks a return to winning ways in La Liga after their 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano last weekend.
Atletico Madrid arrives following four successive victories across competitions, including a 1-0 win over Mallorca in La Liga. Diego Simeone’s team sits level on points with Barcelona and is in the title race contention, having played a game less.
Barcelona boasts an edge in recent league encounters against Atletico, yet Atletico’s away record this season, coupled with Barcelona’s home venue being relocated due to Camp Nou renovations, creates an intriguing context for this clash.
Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains sidelined due to a back injury. Xavi might field a similar XI from the Porto game, with concerns over Alejandro Balde’s spot and Inaki Pena set to start in goal.
Atletico misses Pablo Barrios due to a knee injury, while Thomas Lemar and Vitolo are also unavailable. However, Memphis Depay and Reinildo return from their recent injuries to bolster Simeone’s options.
Araujo, Kounde, I Martinez, Cancelo;
Pedri, Gundogan, De Jong;
Raphinha, Lewandowski, Felix
Gimenez, Witsel, Hermoso;
Molina, De Paul, Saul, Koke, Riquelme;
Prediction: Barcelona 1-1 Atletico Madrid
With both teams level on points and in good form, it’s expected to be a closely contested match. Given their recent encounters, a draw seems plausible, hence a 1-1 scoreline is anticipated.
Please note that match outcomes are subject to change, and this prediction is based on current form and available information.