The much-anticipated match between Barca and Atletico will light up La Liga on Saturday afternoon. Barcelona will welcome league leaders Atletico to Camp Nou in the midst of one of the closest La Liga title races in years. Just two points currently separate Atletico and Barca. A win for Barca will take them to the top of La Liga, before Real Madrid face a resurgent Sevilla on Sunday. For a side that had already been written off this season, the prospect of winning the league in addition to the Copa del Rey is something Barca fans are giving serious attention to.
Atletico led the table for much of the season, but have had a run of poor results in recent months. With Diego Simeone desperate to avoid a late collapse, this is arguably Atletico's biggest game of the campaign, and one that could decide which way the title swings. If Atletico wins the next 4 games, the title will surely be theirs, but winning at the Nou Camp is a hard task. Atletico have not beaten Barca at Camp Nou in 15 years!
Players to watch out for
Messi and Griezmann: Lionel Messi is yet again carrying Barca this season, scoring an impressive 28 goals. He is supported by Antoine Griezmann starting to find his final-third potency in recent months, with 12 goals this season. Griezmann left the Spanish capital in search of silverware, and will not let up when he's just 4 games from his objective. He will be ready to bite the hand that once fed him and secure that ever-elusive La Liga title at the expense of his ex-manager Simeone. Messi to Score is odds 1.75. Griezmann to score is at 2.60 odds.
Luis Suarez: He has made it clear that he will inflict pain on his former employers, and has been on a personal mission to prove Barca wrong for letting him go last summer. As a big-game player who has 19 goals in 34 games this season, you can't write him off. Suarez to score is at 2.70 odds.
Consider these 10 facts if you are betting the match
1. Atletico Madrid beat Barca 1-0 when the two teams last met last November in Madrid.
2. Atleti are unbeaten in their last 3 games VS Barca, with 2 wins and a draw. Before those 3 matches, Barcelona had lost just one of the previous eighteen encounters.
3. Two of their last 5 encounters featured over 2.5 goals and Goal-Goal.
4. No draw has been registered in Barca’s last 7 games, with 5 of those ending in victories and two in defeats.
5. Matches between both teams have been dominated by the visiting sides. The visiting side have recorded 4 wins across the last 5 clashes, with the hosts triumphing in just one.
6. All of their last 5 games resulted in over 2.5 Goals and four saw both involved teams scoring.
7. Atletico have managed to record back-to-back victories just once across their last 17 clashes.
8. Atleti’s main issues are in the attacking department, as they have scored more than 1 goal in only 4 of the previous 15 encounters.
9. Two of their last five meetings produced over 2.5 goals and also two witnessed Goal-Goal.
From these statistics, we are predicting a 54% chance for Barcelona to win the game, a 23% chance for Atletico to win the game, and a 28% chance for the match to end in a draw.