Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona is the game of the week in Spanish La Liga, and besides the EPL derby between Tottenham and Man City, the most interesting this Saturday. Two title contenders go against one another, with Atletico being shorthanded due to various injuries and Barcelona lacking confidence over the past few weeks. Whoever wins this contest will have a massive swing afterward and an edge, which might be crucial in the title race.
Atletico (+180) and Simeone face multiple problems before tomorrow’s game. The Argentinian coach has several big-time contributors out for the game, and he now has to find a way to compensate for their absence. How is going to do that, we don’t quite know.
Joao Felix will have to step up and show why many believe he is the next best player in the world, only this time the youngster won’t have Diego Costa or Luis Suarez behind him.
The Madridians posted four wins in the previous five games, playing one draw along, against Lokomotiv in Moscow, 1-1. They’ve been very efficient also, scoring twice in each game but the above-mentioned one.
Simeone’s crew is excellent at home, with four wins and a draw in five latest events, netting twice in each victory, yielding 15 goals while allowing just three on the other side.
Barcelona (+140) had four straight without a loss before the international break, but they seemed pretty unconvincing in all of them. They would defeat Juve in Turin following a failure against Real Madrid, and instead of using that momentum, in the very next game against Alaves on the road, Ronald Koeman’s side got just one point.
A win against Dynamo Kyiv in the UCL came after lots of problems, 2-1, and the latest success against Betis 5-2, wasn’t that shinny as you think when looking at the result.
As you can see, Barcelona allowed a goal in five of the past six matches, which confirms what all the relevant experts stated that their defense needs radical changes.
Atletico will play without one of the best defenders in Europe, Stefan Savic. Diego Costa and Luis Suarez are out too, Yannick Carrasco, Lucas Torreira, and Hector Herrera will no be ready as well, which leaves a big gap in the middle and Sime Vrsaljko in the defense.
Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets and Sammuel Umtiti are all not eligible to appear at Wanda Metropolitan.
Head to Head Games
Three contests took place in the last campaign, with one being played away from Spain. That was the Super Cup, which ended with Atletico’s 3-2 victory. The first La Liga match took place at Wanda, and Barca won it, 0-1. The latter was at Camp Nou after the COVID-19 restart, and it concluded with a draw, 2-2.
With half of his team out, Simeone will be extra conservative, protecting his goal at all costs. The season is long, and at this moment, there is no need for him to chase a victory. Meanwhile, Barcelona is not looking good at all, even though Blaugrana posts wins. There is something bad going on at Camp Nou; we just don’t know what. In this situation, it would be best to bet on moderate efficiency, meaning two or three goals. Odds here are +100.
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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.