Barcelona is in serious trouble, and their match against Atletico Madrid is coming the worst possible moment for Blaugrana. They slipped twice over the recent three contests, losing a valuable advantage over the biggest rivals Real Madrid who is now ahead of them in the standings. Meanwhile, Atletico is looking just fine, and also they always have a motive to ruin the plans of the top two Spanish teams. Plus, they want to be sure regarding their place in the Champions League next year.
Barcelona (-121) tumbled in Vigo against Celta, playing 2-2 with the rivals from Galicia. Everything was perfect until two minutes to go, once Iago Aspas netted an equalizer that threw the guests into despair. It was the second draw in three games, with the first one also being on the road, only in Sevilla against the same team.
That match ended without goals, and the Spanish champions instantly lost two points of an advantage they accumulated before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, Blaugrana sits in a much more difficult situation, and they have to chase with Real Madrid.
By the way, Barca won the last eight games at home in all the competitions, keeping their goal intact in six of them.
Atletico Madrid (+320) played 1-1 against Bilbao in the debut following the comeback, and after that went on a four-game winning streak which was them beating Osasuna 0-5, Valladolid 1-0, Levante 0-1 and finally Alaves 2-1.
As you can see, Atletico’s defense is once again the best part of the team, with it being rock-solid even after a big pause. The situation for Simeone’s side considering La Liga is pretty clear, they can’t win the title, and on the other hand, they have pretty strong prospects of finishing among the top four teams and checking their UCL ticket.
What is now on their minds is the Champions League knockout stage, which will begin in August, as Atletico already secured its spot among the top eight teams on the continent.
Ousmane Dembele, Sergi Roberto, and Frankie de Jong are all out for this match, all due to injury issues.
On the other side, Hermoso and Sime Vrsaljko are unavailable, too, because of their respective injuries.
Head to Head
In 163 matches played in La Liga, Barcelona posted 74 wins, Atletico has 50, and 39 times there hadn’t been a winner. The latest event between these two sides was in January this year, and it was a Spanish Super Cup semifinals, played in Saudi Arabia. Atletico won 2-3, although being behind at one point.
Barca won the first La Liga game of the campaign, with 0-1 in Madrid. Leo Messi scored the only goal in that meeting, four minutes before the end of the regular 90.
As usual, Atletico is going to defend themselves, setting ultra-defensive tactics, and slowing down the game as much as possible. Therefore 2 or 3 goals in this one are maximum, and the moneyline for that is +105. We can’t see some high-scoring affair here, partially because of Barca’s shaky morale, and mostly because of the above-mentioned conservative approach of the guests.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.