Atletico Madrid v Barcelona: 3 things to watch

It’s the La Liga game of the weekend, and by a distance.

Atletico Madrid host Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano as the only unbeaten side in the Spanish top flight, whilst the Catalans are desperate for the points to see them move up the table after a stuttering start.

Diego Simeone has still never beaten Barca in the league, and this will be his 18th attempt at doing so.His previous 17 attempts have seen 11 defeats for the Rojiblancos and six draws.

However, Atleti really do have the upper hand on this occasion. They’re only not at the top of the table because of having played two games less, and they’re certainly playing the best football in the division at present.

Here are three things to watch out for in this epic clash…

All out attack from Atleti

Often accused of being defensive in the bigger games, there’s little doubt that Simeone will throw everything at Barca’s brittle back line in this one.

Perhaps the only minus point for El Cholo is that Luis Suarez isn’t able to face his old club. With five goals this season, he is Atleti’s joint top scorer along with Joao Felix.

Felix will certainly lead the line on Saturday night, and with Yannick Carrasco, Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa all likely to start, the Catalans will have their work cut out.

A tale of two keepers

Two of the best keepers in the league go head to head at the Wanda, in Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Jan Oblak.

Both are custodians of the highest order and arguably will ensure the ambitions of their side remain intact during the 90 minutes.

Even if the back fours can’t be relied upon to keep out the opposition, both managers know that their last line of defence can haul them out of trouble if needs be.

Don’t be surprised if either pull off a match-winning save to help secure the three points.

Time for Griezmann to produce

Things haven’t gone particularly well for Antoine Griezmann at Barca, but he has the opportunity, against his old club, to wash away any doubts about his suitability to his current employers.

There are green shoots of a striking partnership with Lionel Messi just beginning to bloom, and the Frenchman has to start showing up in the big games.

He was poor in this fixture last season so it’s about time he redeemed himself. Expect a hard-working performance at the very least.

To leave a comment, you must be logged into