Barcelona VS Atletico Madrid Prediction
Wednesday night and the midweek La Liga round could not been scheduled in a better way as we have one of the most intriguing match-ups in Spanish football on the road, when Barcelona will host to Atletico Madrid at its “Camp Nou”. Both clubs are entering into the clash after they have scored five goals in their weekend fixtures and this brings some attacking optimism to their fans, but we anyway know how capable they’re, especially after the summer strengthening made by Atleti.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid – Match Preview
Barcelona’s last home match in the La Liga has been marked by a disastrous result and that’s something which will keep the red light turned on, as we all remember that surprising 2-1 win for Deportivo Alaves at “Camp Nou”. After all, Barcelona were much more effective in the next two games and after the seven-heaven against Scottish champions Celtic in their UEFA Champions League opener, Luis Enrique’s men scored five more goals in their weekend visit against a newly promoted La Liga side Leganes. This makes total amount of 12 goals scored by “Barça” in both matches and 5 of them were netted by Leo Messi, 3 were for Suarez, Neymar scored twice, while Iniesta and Rafinha have scored only once. Proper response by Barcelona’s attacking players after the criticism for their performance against Alaves.
Meanwhile Atletico Madrid achieved the same asset in a different way, as their Champions League opener wasn’t that spectacular. However, Diego Simeone’s men were final winners out of it and they won really important three points away from home – winning against Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven with 1-0. This was Atleti’s third consecutive clean sheet and also second win in a row, after the 4-0 win over Celta in Vigo right after the international break, as both streaks were extended last weekend. That happened in their home – “Estadio Vicente Calderón” in Madrid, where “Los Colchoneros” have finally returned after three successive outings, when in Saturday afternoon Atletico Madrid won against Sporting Gijon. Likewise its colleague in Barcelona, Diego Simeone can be pleased by the production of his main attacking players since we saw names of Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Fernando Torres, who came as a substitution for the first one, on the scoreline. Griezmann and Torres were those who have both scored a brace while Gameiro has scored just once.
This was also the biggest win of Atleti in season 2016-17 and they’re still unbeaten after five competitive games.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Luis Enrique started with a 3-4-3 formation in Leganes, city in the Madrid outskirts, but that formation will definitely be changed against much stronger Madrid opposition. We don’t expect something different than Barcelona’s typical 4-3-3 formation build by the usual suspects MSN on top. Midfield will be changed where Sergio Busquets will return in the squad as he was rested in the weekend, while Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta were in the starting lineup, but they were subbed-off after respectively 57 and 65 minutes on the field.
Biggest question is related with Barca’s defense where initially expectations were that Samuel Umtiti will return in the lineup, while Javier Mascherano will be dropped on the bench, but this won’t happen. Barcelona have confirmed French international Samuel Umtiti will miss Wednesday’s clash with Atletico Madrid due to a knee ligament damage, so Mascherano will probably be preferred than the other Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu as an eventual partner of Gerard Pique in heart of Barca’s defense.
Sergi Roberto was also rested in the weekend but he is expected to return at the right-back and this should provide more defensive display to the line. Reasonably, when you’ll meet Atletico Madrid and we all know their counter-attacking style, especially in these type of matches.
Los Colchoneros will return at “Camp Nou” for the first time after their Champions League quarter-final visit in April, when Fernando Torres has opened the score before being sent-off only 10 minutes later. This has pretty much helped Barcelona to accomplish full comeback and it came after two second half goals by Luis Suarez, but however, we all remember Atletico’s second leg brilliance. Only one week after the first quarter-final leg, Atlético Madrid won the second leg with two goals by Antoine Griezmann and this was the best moment for them to end a streak from seven consecutive defeats when facing Barcelona… Now they’ll strive to end another negative record but on the domestic scene, where Atletico Madrid remains without victory against “Barca” in 16 games. Last time when Atleti won over Barcelona in any of the Spanish competitions was really romantic memory and it dates from the Valentine’s Day in 2010 – 2:1 win in Madrid. It has been followed by 4 draws and 12 defeats which means that Diego Simeone still can’t win against Barcelona in any domestic competition.
Тemperamental Argentine manager will make another attempt and this time he can rely to some new faces who were attracted in the summer period. Except already mentioned French attacker Kevin Gameiro, who was also one of the Luis Enrique’s targets, right-back Sime Vrsaljko and winger Nico Gaitan were among those who have arrived at “Vicente Calderón” in the past summer. At this moment is more reliable to believe that former winger of Benfica Nico Gaitan can be included in the starting squad, as he can take the left wing position in case Diego Simeone prefers to stay loyal to its favourite 4-4-2 formation.
Sime Vrsaljko was used in the weekend and that was official debut for the 24-year-old Croatian defender, but however, it seems that Simeone plans to use Juanfran in the upcoming round and probably that was the reason why he and experienced midfielder Gabi were rested against Sporting Gijon.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
It’s not a secret that Barcelona feels serious issues in defense and the only new figure that may add stability in that zone will miss the game. Samuel Umtiti’s injury came right before so important midweek round for “Barca” and his French compatriots who are wearing Atletico’s jersey will try to take advantage from his absence.
Presence of French attacking duo including Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro, substitution like Fernando Torres and players like Saúl Ñíguez, Koke, Nico Gaitan, Yannick Carrasco, who all compete for positions in midfield, can provide enough scoring chances for both predators on top of Atleti’s attack. Moreover, they can create chances and realize them by themselves, which adds even more worries for the anyway shaky defense of Barcelona.
On other turn we don’t have any doubts about Barca’s attacking capabilities and we find “Both teams to score – Yes” as a really reliable bet for the midweek La Liga duel facing Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid.
Venue: “Camp Nou”, Barcelona.
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán.
Possible starting lineups of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid
FC Barcelona: Marc-André ter Stegen – Jordi Alba, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto – Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic – Neymar, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez. (4-3-3)
Missing players – None.
Atlético de Madrid: Jan Oblak – Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Stefan Savic, Juanfran – Nicolas Gaitan, Koke, Gabi, Saúl Ñíguez – Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro. (4-4-2)
Missing players – Miguel Moya, Tiago, Alessio Cerci.