Since the 2013/2014 season, Atletico Madrid have become a great force to reckon with in both the La Liga and the Champions League.
That season, they pipped Barcelona to the local title on final match day, and what made it all worse for the Catalan side was the fact that they had fallen to the same Diego-Simeone-led side in the Champions League.
Since then, Atletico have been a torn in everybody’s flesh, challenging both Barca and Madrid every time they cross paths.
That rivalry will continue tonight as both teams battle it out in the La Liga.
A record the defiant visitors are yet to break is overcoming Luis Enrique’s men in the league, and that could probably change tonight.
The last time they met, the Rojablancos won 2 – 0. But it was in the 2nd leg of the Champions League quarterfinals last season, and that victory dumped Barcelona out of the European competition despite a 2 – 1 win and advantage from the 1st leg.
Tonight! It would be about revenge for Barcelona, who were denied a glorious chance to defend their European title last season.
For Atletico Madrid, it’d be to finally get an upper hand over the Camp Nou outfit in the league for the first time since 2010.
Definitely both sides will be naming their strongest lineup, and only few injury reports have been reported in both camps.
Summer signing Umtiti won’t be available, while Iniesta should get another start having recently recovered from injury.
Atletico have no injury concerns whatsoever, only that Simeone could have selection headaches given the array of quality available at his call.
Predicted Barcelona Starting XI
Ter stegen; Alba; Pique; Mascherano; Roberto; Busquets; Iniesta; Rakitic; Neymar; Suarez; Messi
Predicted Atletico Madrid Starting XI
Oblak; Luis; Godin; Savic; Juanfran; Carrasco; Koke; Gabi; Saul; Griezmann; Gameiro
Having each played 4 games so far, Barcelona have won 3 and (shockingly) lost 1 to newly promoted Alaves, while Atletico have won 2 and drawn 2.
Just a point separate the 2 and although it’s too early to think the result from this game will have a say on the title race (even though it kinda does), yet both sides will play their hearts out as bragging rights and of course points are majorly at stake.
All eyes will be on Barcelona’s MSN, with the trio likely to decide whatever outcome the encounter yields.
They have kicked off the campaign amazingly in front of goal, and will surely cause problem for the Atletico backline that is set to be busy all night long.
Their counterparts on the other end of the pitch, Gameiro and Griezmann will hope to catch Barcelona’s defence on the counter anytime the opportunity presents itself.
The Frenchmen are known for their speeds and eyes for goals, and that will be features they hope work in their favour against Barca.
Camp Nou has a strong electric presence, with the home fans support always standing as a 12th man for the defending champions.
The effect of such atmosphere will come to play as the home team continues their strong run after having been slightly slowed down by Alaves.
It’ll be a great game to watch.