La Liga Preview: Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
Lionel Messi has astonishing recent history with the capital club and hopes to extend it as Pep Guardiola's side aims to keep title hopes alive at the Vicente Calderon
By Martin Macdonald
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Arda, Adrian, Koke
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Messi, Fabregas, Sanchez
Diego Simeone will be without the services of Brazilian playmaker Diego, who has been ruled out for a month. However, Arda Turan returned from injury to feature from the bench in the Europa League victory over Lazio on Thursday.
Radamel Falcao was rested from the starting XI in midweek but the prolific Colombian will return to starting lineup for the game against Barca.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola's only two injuries to deal with are long-term absentees Ibrahim Afellay and David Villa, who are both still unavailable but are beginning to work out in the gym as they attempt to recuperate.
The Catalan side was outstanding in its last match against Valencia, so it is unlikely that much tinkering will be made. However, Xavi is fully fit again and Dani Alves returns from his suspension, so expect the duo to return to the starting XI.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Atletico is unbeaten in its last seven matches in La Liga (3-4-0), keeping a clean sheet in six of those fixtures.
- Radamel Falcao has scored 19 goals in 29 appearances for Atlético in all competitions this season, which includes two hat tricks in La Liga.
- Atletico has kept 11 clean sheets this season - only Barcelona has more with 12.
- The last time that Barcelona lost back-to-back away matches in La Liga was in April-May 2008, 2-0 at Deportivo La Coruna and 4-1 at Real Madrid.
- Lionel Messi has scored 14 league goals against Atletico, including two hat tricks in his last two encounters with Los Rojiblancos.
- Barça has lost only one of the 94 league matches in which Messi has scored (85-8-1) - which was against Atletico Madrid (4-3) on March 1 2009.
Top 3 Predictions
Atletico Madrid 1-3 Barcelona
- 19.71 %
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
- 12.15 %
Atletico Madrid 0-3 Barcelona
- 10.22 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 9, 2014||Atletico Madrid 1 - Barcelona 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 1, 2014||Barcelona 1 - Atletico Madrid 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Jan 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Barcelona 0|
|Spanish Supercup (ESPS)||Aug 28, 2013||Barcelona 0 - Atletico Madrid 0|
|Spanish Supercup (ESPS)||Aug 21, 2013||Atletico Madrid 1 - Barcelona 1|
|Apr 22, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Chelsea 0||UCL|
|Apr 18, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Apr 13, 2014||Getafe 0 - Atletico Madrid 2||LIGA|
|Apr 9, 2014||Atletico Madrid 1 - Barcelona 0||UCL|
|Apr 5, 2014||Atletico Madrid 1 - Villarreal 0||LIGA|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed