Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: Preview and Prediction

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid will look to return to winning ways against Barcelona to stay in the top four in La Liga.

Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are all set to square up against each other in search of three important points. The Catalan giants will look to build on their recent win, while the home team will be desperate for a win to keep to avoid dropping out of the top four.

Atletico Madrid have not had the best of seasons this time out. They are currently fourth in the league, with 55 points in 28 matches. They have already lost seven matches this term and are 14 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

They only have a two-point buffer over fifth-placed Athletic Club, and a defeat here could cost them the fourth position. They are heading into this one on the back of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cadiz in their last league fixture. They did bounce back in the Champions League with a win over Inter Milan but will have to put up one of their best performances to take down Xavi’s team.

Barcelona are third on the points table, and they have a six-point advantage over fourth-placed Atletico Madrid. They have accumulated 61 points in their 28 matches thanks to 18 wins. The Catalan giants are eight points behind league leaders Real Madrid, and only a miracle can help them clinch the league title.

But, since they still have an outside chance, expect them to keep pushing. They followed up their 1-0 win over Mallorca with a 3-1 win over Napoli in the Champions League and will be heading into this fixture against Simeone’s team high on confidence.

It promises to be a high-voltage fixture between two quality teams, and The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Atletico Madrid

The home team will be without the services of Jose Maria Gimenez and Thomas Lemar. Apart from the duo, everyone else is available for selection. While Diego Simeone will have to assess the fitness levels of his team, he is still expected to stick to the same XI given the importance of this fixture in their pursuit of a top-four finish.

Simeone will stick to the 3-5-2 formation, where Jan Oblak will be in goal. The back three will be made up of Stefan Savic, Axel Witsel, and Mario Hermoso. The trio will look to keep a clean sheet against the Catalan giants, and they will have the support of Nahuel Molina and Samuel Lino who will feature as the wing-backs.

In the centre of the park, Marcos Llorente will feature alongside Rodrigo De Paul and Koke. The trio will look to have the majority of the ball and ensure Barcelona midfielders do not end up dominating the proceedings. Antoine Griezmann played 105 minutes in their clash against Inter Milan after returning from injury and he is expected to star alongside Alvaro Morata in this fixture.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Oblak; Savic, Witsel, Hermoso; Molina, Llorente, De Paul, Koke, Lino; Griezmann, Morata

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Predicted XI


The visitors will be without the services of Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Gavi, and Alejandro Balde due to injury. Meanwhile, Marcos Alonso and Ferran Torres are also expected to miss this outing.

Xavi will stick to the 4-3-3 formation, where Marc-Andre ter Stegen will take charge in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will feature as the full-backs for the Catalan giants, while teenage sensation Pau Cubarsi will start alongside Ronald Araujo in the heart of the defence.

Since a number of their key midfielders are out injured, Andreas Christensen will take charge as the defensive midfielder, and he will have the support of Ilkay Gundogan and Fermin Lopez in the centre of the park.

The trio will look to dictate the pace of the game and ensure they have the majority of the ball possession. In attack, Raphinha will feature on the left flank, while Lamine Yamal will take charge on the right and Polish international Robert Lewandowski will be leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Cubarsi, Cancelo; Fermin Lopez, Christensen, Gundogan; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have faced each other on 241 occasions. The Catalan giants have 109 wins while the hosts have 76 wins to their name.
  • The Catalan giants are on a four-game winning streak against the hosts.
  • Atletico Madrid have been unbeaten at home in La Liga this season with 13 wins out of 14 matches.
  • Barcelona are unbeaten away from home this term.
  • The reverse fixture ended 1-0 in favour of the Catalan giants.

Player to Watch

Antoine Griezmann

Embed from Getty Images

Griezmann scored in their last outing against Inter Milan as he made a comeback from injury. The French World Cup winner has 19 goals and seven assists in his 37 outings this season. He has been their best player so far and will have to step up if Atletico intends to avenge the defeat in the reverse fixture and strengthen their position inside the top four.


Atletico Madrid 2-1 Barcelona

Barcelona have won each of their last four games against Atletico Madrid, and they won the reverse fixture 1-0. In terms of overall former and recent history, Barcelona have the edge but given the kind of importance this fixture has in Atletico Madrid’s season, they are expected to go all out and might even end up coming out on top here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the home team.

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