Barcelona - Atletico Madrid Preview: Top of the table clash awaits as Diego Simeone's men travel to Camp Nou
The Blaugrana will look to extend their unbeaten run in La Liga with another victory, but face tough opposition as Radamel Falcao and Co. visit Catalunya on Sunday
By Martin Macdonald
Montoya, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Villa
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Koke, Arda, Costa
Barcelona will be without influential midfielder Cesc Fabregas for the visit of Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Sunday evening. The Spain international is currently sidelined with a thigh injury he picked up in the win over Betis last weekend. This will likely result in Andres Iniesta moving from his position on the left to a deeper role in midfield.
With Iniesta retreating back, David Villa may be given a start in the attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Pedro.
Tito Vilanova's men have been boosted by the return of Dani Alves to training after his injury. However, it is unlikely the Brazilian will be risked as he is not match-fit. Martin Montoya will likely feature at right-back.
Atletico Madrid will welcome back defender Miranda into the starting XI for this weekend's match as the Brazilian served his one-match suspension. Cristian Rodriguez is still recovering from a thigh injury and is unlikely to feature.
|DID YOU KNOW?
This week, Lionel Messi shattered another record. The Argentine is currently sitting at 88 goals for the calendar year, breaking the record of 85 previously held by Gerd Muller.
- Messi and Radamel Falcao are currently the top two goalscorers in the Spanish Premier Division.
- Barcelona are currently enjoying their best ever start to a La Liga season. The Catalans have won 14 out of their opening 15 games, and drawn the other.
Atletico Madrid will move within three points of the Catalan side in the league with a victory at Camp Nou.
Falcao became the first player in over a decade to score five goals in a single La Liga game with his tally against Deportivo last week.
- Los Colchoneros have only lost twice in the league so far. They were defeated in November by Valencia and also lost the Madrid derby against their arch-rivals.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 3-1 Atletico Madrid
- 21.65 %
FC Barcelona 3-0 Atletico Madrid
- 7.84 %
FC Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid
- 7.76 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - FC Barcelona 0|
|Spain - Super Cup (ESPS)||Aug 28, 2013||FC Barcelona 0 - Atletico Madrid 0|
|Spain - Super Cup (ESPS)||Aug 21, 2013||Atletico Madrid 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 12, 2013||Atletico Madrid 1 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 16, 2012||FC Barcelona 4 - Atletico Madrid 1|
|Mar 8, 2014||Valladolid 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Mar 2, 2014||FC Barcelona 4 - Almeria 1||LIGA|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Sociedad 3 - FC Barcelona 1||LIGA|
|Feb 18, 2014||Manchester City FC 0 - FC Barcelona 2||UCL|
|Feb 15, 2014||FC Barcelona 6 - Rayo Vallecano 0||LIGA|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|