Atletico – Barcelona Match Preview
Barcelona come into this fixture with a 1-0 lead from the first leg, leaving Atletico with the task of winning by one clear goal to progress to the semi-final of the Copa del Rey. Due to the away goals ruling, Barcelona merely need a draw or better to navigate their way towards the final. Barcelona approach this game off the back of six consecutive competitive wins, while their opponents have only registered three victories during the same period. The away side also haven’t conceded in three away fixtures. Los Colchoneros have, however, recovered well from losing their unbeaten home record. Four wins in a row at Estadio Vicente Calderon suggests that Enrique’s men will be faced with a stern test regardless of their own recent good form. Diego Simeone is likely to keep faith in goalkeeper Jan Oblak for the Copa del Rey, as the Argentine coach uses the tournament to field his second-choice goalie. Jose Gimenez and Miranda should start at the heart of the hosts’ defence, with Uruguay international Diego Godin continuing to sit out due to suspension. Koke is still an injury concern, with Raul Garcia coming into the midfield four as a result. Otherwise, there shouldn’t be any selection surprises unless one considers that Fernando Torres should get the nod ahead of Mandzukitc.
Luis Enrique has full squad to choose from, with the exception of Thomas Vermaelen, with several players who were rested in their last match against Elche. Xavi is fit but will probably be dropped out of the side in favour of the duo, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic. The dream team trio of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar will surely pose a serious threat to the home team.
Our Probable Formations:
Atletico (188.8.131.52) Oblak, Juanfran, Miranda, Giménez, Siqueira, Garcia, Suarez, Gabi, Turan, Griezmann and Torres.
Barcelona (4.3.3) Ter Stegen, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitic, Suarez, Messi and Neymar.
Barcelona have won 12 of their last 14 matches in Copa del Rey.
Atletico have seen under 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 8 matches against Barcelona in all competitions.
Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 matches in Copa del Rey.
Barcelona are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 matches against Atletico in all competitions.