18:45 GMT 14 October 2017
La Liga football returns after an international break where we found out the majority of the teams that will be competing at next year’s World Cup in Russia. One player that single-handedly saved his nation from the jaws of defeat was Lionel Messi, who is back in domestic action this weekend. Barcelona travel to Atletico’s new stadium for the first time in hope of maintaining the 100% record that has put them top of the league. The hosts are currently fourth in the table with 15 points, already six points behind the league leaders.
Atletico have really struggled against Barcelona in recent years and you would have to go back to 2010 to find the last time Diego Simeone’s side beat them in the league. Barca have won four of the last five meetings in La Liga, three of which with a 2-1 scoreline. This was the case in the last fixture as a late Lionel Messi winner secured three points for his side.
Head to head matches: Atletico Madrid - FC Barcelona
|26.02.2017||LaLi||Atletico Madrid||FC Barcelona||1:2|
A loss for Atletico in this one would see them slip even further away from the league leaders so they need to simply avoid defeat against their title rivals. Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez aren’t expected to return after muscular injurie while Augusto Fernandez should make the bench for Atleti.
Latest matches: Atletico Madrid
|30.09.2017||LaLi||CD Leganes||Atletico Madrid||0:0||D|
|27.09.2017||UEFA||Atletico Madrid||Chelsea FC||1:2||L|
|23.09.2017||LaLi||Atletico Madrid||Sevilla FC||2:0||W|
|20.09.2017||LaLi||Athletic Bilbao||Atletico Madrid||1:2||W|
|16.09.2017||LaLi||Atletico Madrid||Malaga CF||1:0||W|
A win for Barcelona would put them in a very commanding position at this early stage of the campaign. They will be without Ousmane Dembele, who will return in the new year, and Rafinha, who is expected to miss another month of action. Arda Turan is back in training and could make the squad.
Latest matches: FC Barcelona
|01.10.2017||LaLi||FC Barcelona||Las Palmas UD||3:0||W|
|27.09.2017||UEFA||Sporting CP||FC Barcelona||0:1||W|
|23.09.2017||LaLi||Girona FC||FC Barcelona||0:3||W|
|19.09.2017||LaLi||FC Barcelona||SD Eibar||6:1||W|
|16.09.2017||LaLi||Getafe CF||FC Barcelona||1:2||W|
Meetings between these two sides are always full of entertainment and passion from both sets of players, this one is expected to be no different. While Atletico will have the backing of their deafeningly loud fans, it is Barca who go into the match as slight favourites due to their blistering form. It should be very close and a draw is probably the most likely result but both sides have individuals with enough quality to win the match. It has the potential to be a cracking game between two European giants.
14 October 2017 - 18:45 GMT
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