Barcelona – Atletico Match Preview

Barcelona – Atletico Match Preview
Barcelona will want to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat at Espanyol as they host Spanish champions Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp on Sunday night. Barcelona have failed to score four times in the league already this season; only once since Pep Guardiola’s first season have they been so ineffective. Indeed since 2008/09, in no campaign have Barca had fewer points after 17 games than they do this season, but with all problems in Barcelona on and off the field, they still have Lionel Messi and against Atletico, the team will be buoyed by Messi’s return, but midfielder Xavi Hernandez will be sidelined with a torn calf muscle in his left leg and France defender Jeremy Mathieu is out with an Achilles tendon injury in his left leg.

Atletico Madrid are without a win in eight against Barcelona in La Liga; their joint-longest run without one in this fixture in La Liga history. Despite that, the Red-and-Whites remained unbeaten in six clashes with Barca last season in all competitions, eliminating them from the Champions League and winning the title in this corresponding fixture at the Nou Camp. The defending champions with striker Fernando Torres back in the team, are building momentum after two league wins and the victory over Madrid in the Copa del Rey. The addition of Torres gives Atletico coach Diego Simeone the choice of a third striker, adding to the effectiveness of Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann but has also brought a sensation of enthusiasm as only El Ninho of old cold have with the club selling a record 222 number 19 (his new number) shirts per hour. Mandzukic has scored six goals in 13 appearances, while Griezmann has eight goals in 17 games.

Our Probable Formations:
Barcelona (4.3.3) Bravo, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Suàrez, Messi and Neymar.

Atletico (4.4.2) Moya, Juanfran, Giménez, Godin, Siqueira, Turan, Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Griezmann and Mandzukic.
Some hot tips:
The last 15 league meetings between the teams have produced 63 goals, an average of 4.2 per game.

Barcelona have won 34 of their last 38 home matches in La Liga.

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 26 of Barcelona’s last 30 home games in La Liga.

Barcelona have drawn 5 of their last 6 matches against Atletico in all competitions.

Barcelona have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 6 matches against Atletico in all competitions.

Atletico have won 5 of their last 6 matches in La Liga.

Atletico have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches in La Liga.

Atletico are undefeated in their last 6 matches against Barcelona in all competitions.