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Sunday night sees one of La Liga’s major clashes as Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid make the daunting trip to the Spanish Olympic Stadium to take on Xavi’s Barcelona.
The pair are part of a foursome that have barely put a foot wrong this season in La Liga, but they find themselves behind great rivals Real Madrid and surprise package Girona in their bid to pick up another title.
Atletico have dropped just eight points this term and all of them have come away from home while Sunday’s hosts have been immaculate at home barring one match – the 2-1 defeat by a Jude Bellingham-inspired Real Madrid.
This is always a fascinating clash between two of Spain’s dominant forces and it should prove to be that yet again this weekend. And if you fancy a bet on the game, follow the stats below to create a Barcelona vs Atletico bet builder.
Our Stats Pack Guide is the place to go for a greater understanding on the data used below.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Predicted Lineups
Barca unlikely to change from midweek
Barca all but secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with victory over Porto last time out and Xavi is unlikely to change his starting XI for this weekend. They remain without first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen while teenage sensation Gavi is out for the foreseeable future. Ilkay Gundogan is settling into life at the club while his former City team-mate Joao Cancelo may continue at left-back.
No debate for Atletico
There is little doubt about who Diego Simeone is going to field in defence and attack, particularly given Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata are banging in the goals. Saul Niguez is expected to return in midfield to replace Marcos Llorente while Samuel Lino will hope to replace Riquelme on the left despite the comprehensive win in midweek.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Team Stats
Barca letting standards slip defensively
Barcelona have managed at least 1 xG in every match they have played this season but they aren’t perfect defensively, conceding in 8 of their last 12 and conceding 1 xG or more in 5 of their 7 home matches in the league. They have also conceded 10 or more shots in 11 of their 14 La Liga games. Frustration may be showing – they have collected and drawn 2 or more yellow cards in 11 of their 14 league games.
Atletico finding their groove
Atletico have scored in their last 9 games (both teams have scored in 6) and 2 or more in 9 of their 14 league matches. Defensively they are everything you expect of a Diego Simeone team, conceding more than 1 xG in just 3 of their 14 outings and more than 4 shots on target in just 1 of their last 8. Barca are going to find it tough. Perhaps most surprising is that they have committed 10 or more fouls in just 4 of their last 12 in all competitions.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Shots and Shots on Target Stats
Lewandowski finding form again?
Robert Lewandowski endured a knock earlier in the season and his form suffered post-injury. However, he has averaged over a shot on target and 3 or more shots per 90 minutes and has found the target in his last two outings, suggesting he’s ready to start firing again. Felix is the other key man to look out for, the forward has had a shot on target in 10 of 14 league outings – he can be backed at 4/11.
Morata having a fine campaign
Alvaro Morata has always been something of an enigma but we may be seeing the best of him as he reaches his latter years. He has had two or more shots in last 6 starts (1/4) and three or more in five of those (10/11). He has also managed a shot on target in 9 of his 12 league starts and you can back him at 2/5 to do that against a Barca side that do give up chances.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Goals and Assists Stats
Same pair to watch for Barca
Unsurprisingly, we are about to talk Lewandowski and Felix again. Lewandowski does what he does. He bagged a brace against Alaves before the international break as he begins finding his feet again and is the favourite to net here at 11/10. Felix is underperforming having scored just one goal from 3.2 xG, something he is surely going to break at some point and there’s no better time than against his former employers – he’s 15/8 to find the net.
Griezmann in great form
Antoine Griezmann has returned to Atletico Madrid with fire in his belly and he will be desperate to score against Barcelona – not least because he had a difficult playing spell there. He has scored 9 goals this term, contributing to a goal in 7 of his last 11 games in the league as well as scoring 4 Champions League goals. He can be backed to score or assist at 7/5 and to score anytime at 23/10.
Barcelona Cards and Fouls Stats
Few fouls vs few fouled
Barcelona don’t need to commit too many fouls. They have enough of the ball. When they do get into trouble with the referee, it tends to come from those lying at the base of midfield with Oriol Romeu committing a foul in 7 of his last 9 starts and Frenkie De Jong in 6 of his last 7. Otherwise, Joao Felix is one to watch having committed over a foul per 90.
Atletico, surprisingly, don’t have players consistently drawing fouls, something they have been known for amongst English fans. Rodrigo De Paul made a name for himself with his performances at the World Cup protecting Lionel Messi and he has been fouled in 7 of his 10 La Liga appearances while Saul Niguez has been fouled over once per 90 minutes. Maybe the midfield battle is what we need to focus on.
Atletico Madrid Cards and Fouls Stats
Niguez the Saul of the team
Saul Niguez is looking to establish himself as a key player after a disappointing spell with Chelsea and putting his foot in has been key to that, committing a foul in 6 of his 7 starts and 10 of 13 in all competitions. Alvaro Morata is proving himself to be more aggressive these days too, fouling in 9 of his 12 appearances and each of his last 5.
Saul will find himself in battle with Frenkie De Jong – the Dutchman has been fouled 2 or more times in 4 of his 7 league starts and 8 times in two appearances since returning from injury.
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