The race for the La Liga glory heats up as leaders Barcelona host challenger Atletico Madrid in a battle of the two La Liga heavyweights at Camp Nou, in Barcelona, on Saturday night (IST).
What competition it is? La Liga
Teams: Barcelona and Atletico Madrid
Kick Off: Sunday 07 April
Match Timing: 12:15 AM (IST)
Where the game is played? Camp Nou (99,354)
TV Info: Ten Sports Network has the rights to stream select La Liga matches in India. Fans can also catch the action live on Facebook and SonyLiv App.
After Barcelona’s thrilling 4-4 draw against Villarreal on Wednesday, there’s a belief that there is some life left in La Liga race. But at this moment, it’s just a conjecture which needs to have more evidence.
For that to happen, Atletico Madrid have to win the match at Camp Nou, one of the hardest jobs in world football.
Barcelona’s result in Castellón, however, doesn’t bode well for the visitors. The Catalan giants were staring down at the defeat when Carlos Becca put the hosts 4-2 ahead in the 80th minute. Even a controversial red card to Alvaro Gonzalez just four minutes before the regulation time didn’t give the visitors to use the number advantage.
But Lionel Messi’s career is flooded with extraordinary moments of brilliance and he took a cue out of his book, scoring from a free-kick in the 90th minute to give his side at least hope of saving something from the match. Indeed, Barca did as Villarreal’s discomposure inside the penalty area allowed Luis Suarez to take a wonderful left-footed shot. The ball left his foot at the lightning speed, giving hosts’ goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo no time to react.
It was the kind of match Barcelona needed at this stage of the season. An aggressive and hungry opponent, with their back against the wall.
A win for Barca would wrap up the league, but a defeat may open the door for Atletico. Even in that situation, with a five-point lead at this point in the season, the Catalan giants will be the favorites to win their 8th title in 10 seasons.
For Diego Simeone, it has been a season of missed opportunities. But none bigger than the Champions League capitulation.
The Rojiblancos were the favorites to qualify for the champions league after beating Juventus 2-0 in the first leg. But Atletico didn’t turn up in Turin, failing to withstand the pressure as Juve ran out 3-0 victor to qualify at the expense of the 2014 beaten finalists.
But Simeone’s team has enjoyed a good campaign in La Liga. They are 2nd on the table, 8 points behind leaders Barcelona. With just 8 games remaining in the season, this is their chance to put some pressure on Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Recent form (Last six matches)
Barcelona –D W W W D D
Atletico Madrid – W W D L W L D
ATL vs BAR Dream11 TEAM NEWS: Injuries and Suspensions
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Team News:
Injured – No fresh injury concerns for Ernesto Valverde as Rafinha and Ousmane Dembele are the only injury absentee.
Suspended – Arturo Vidal is suspended following his yellow card in the game against Villarreal.
Questionable – Back-up goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is a slight doubt for the match.
Note: Sergio Busquets and Arthur will be forming a partnership in the middle of the field, with Ivan Rakitic playing just ahead of them.
The usual suspects should start up front in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Philippe Coutinho.
Key Players – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez
Injured – As for Atletico Madrid, Lucas Hernandez, Thomas Lemar, and Alvaro Morata will be missing the match.
Suspended – None.
Questionable – Striker Diego Costa is questionable and will be evaluated before the match.
Note: Santiago Arias has regained full fitness and should start at right-back ahead of Juanfran.
Key Players – Griezmann, Koke
ATL vs BAR Dream11 Playing 11 – (Probable) –
Barcelona– Ter Stegen (GK), Alba, Pique, Umtiti, Roberto; Arthur, Busquets, Rakitic; Coutinho, Suarez, Messi
Atletico Madrid– Oblak (GK), Luis, Godin, Gimenez; Rodri, Koke, Partay, Saul, Arias, Griezmann, Correa
ATL vs BAR Dream11 FANTASY TEAM:
INDIA FANTASY PREDICTION:
Barcelona are favorites to win the match.
THIS ATL vs BAR Dream11 MATCH PREVIEW IS BASED ON OUR RESEARCH AND UNDERSTANDING FROM VARIOUS NEWS SOURCES. YOU CAN SELECT YOUR OWN PLAYING 11 ON THE BASIS OF TEAM NEWS AND ALL THE OTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED FROM THIS WEBSITE. USING OUR TEAMS IN ANY CONTEST WILL INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF HAVING THE SAME EXACT TEAM WITH OTHER USERS CAN LEAD TO THE WINNINGS SPLIT.