La Liga is back after the international break with the game of the weekend. Wanda Metropolitano is the venue as Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are set to do battle.
Atletico face a Barcelona side that might just be a wounded animal after a shock 4-3 loss to Betis last time out. Atletico would truly stake a serious claim for the title if they can defeat Barca at the Wanda. Diego Simeone is still searching for his first league win against Barcelona and will really be gunning for a win.
Diego Simeon’s side have spent the last fortnight trying to get defenders fit. Their last match against Athletic Bilbao saw a number of their centre-backs pick up injuries. However that didn’t stop a limping Diego Godin from scoring a last gasp winner.
Stefan Savic and Lucas Hernandez are training again so they should be stronger defensively here and that’s obviously key against a fit again Leo Messi who has had two weeks to rest for this match. Messi invariably is key when it comes to this fixture and in his whole career, only against Sevilla has he scored more goals against a single opponent.
Atletico Madrid proposed starting eleven
Oblak; Arias, Gimenez, Savic, Lucas; Correa, Rodri, Thomas, Saul; Griezmann, Costa
Ernesto Velverde’s side will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the table by beating Atletico Madrid.
It has been a mixed start to the season for the team as they seek to win another La Liga trophy
Barca is set to welcome some injury returnees like Philippe Coutinho who can play in both a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation.
The international break has featured fresh speculation over Ousmane Dembele’s future too. The winger’s lifestyle is increasingly becoming a cause for concern so there are a few issues in the Barca camp heading into this key game.
The La Liga holders will travel to Holland to face PSV in the Champions League next week, but there is not too much pressure on them, as they have already booked their spot in the round of 16. Their next La Liga fixture is at home to Villarreal next weekend, before facing Cultural Leonesa in the second leg of their Copa del Rey clash on December 5.
It is surely gearing up to be an open title race this season when considering that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico all have their flaws, and Sevilla have been performing very well in the early months of the 2018-19 campaign.
Barcelona proposed starting eleven
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, Arthur; Coutinho, L Suarez, Messi
Head To Head
Both sides have met 41 times with Barca winning 23 times vs 8 times Atletico won. They have both drawn 10 times.