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Primera División

  • September 24, 2011
  • • 21:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
  • • Attendance: 79000
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La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

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Gregorio Manzano brings his new-look and in-form side to Camp Nou just a point behind the champions in the Primera Division table


PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Barcelona (4-1-2-3): Valdes; Alves, Mascerano, Puyol, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Thiago; Messi, Fabregas, Villa


Barca centre-back Gerard Pique is back in full training following his calf injury and after the defensive frailties against Valencia, it is touch and go as to whether the Spaniard will make the starting XI. Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta are still sidelined with hamstring injuries. Meanwhile, Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay damaged his cruciate knee ligament in training and will miss an estimated six months of the season.

Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Coutois; Silva, Perea, Dominguez, Filipe; Koke, Assuncao, Gabi, Turan; Salvio, Falcao


Atletico Madrid are still sweating over the fitness of Diego, who completed light training on Thursday but it is unsure whether the Brazilian will feature against the champions. However, the Madrid outfit have been boosted by the return of Diego Godin, who has recovered from his injury and is expected to make the squad against Barcelona.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • In their last four meetings at Camp Nou in La Liga, Barcelona have scored 17 times against Atletico Madrid, conceding just three in reply.
  • Cesc Fabregas has already had more assists in this season (four) than Andres Iniesta accumulated in the whole of 2010-2011 (three).
  • Expect goals in this encounter, as both Barca and Atletico netted over 2.5 goals in 24 of their 38 league games last season, a 63 per cent success rate.
  • Atletico Madrid's last victory at Camp Nou was in December 2006, where they emerged as 3-1 victors.

  • Atletico have won their last two league games 4-0 at home, against Racing and Sporting Gijon, with Radamel Falcao netting five times.

  • Indeed, this match showcases La Liga's two leading goalscorers, Falcao and Lionel Messi, who along with Roberto Soldado have netted five goals in four matches.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
22Éric AbidalDefender
5BusquetsMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
7PedroStriker
7David VillaStriker
10MessiStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
17MaxwellDefender
3Andreu Fontàs PratDefender
21AdrianoDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
3PiquéDefender
-Seydou KeitaMidfielder
28Thibaut CourtoisGoalkeeper
6Antonio LópezDefender
2Diego GodínDefender
23MirandaDefender
14L. PereaDefender
22Diego RibasMidfielder
5TiagoMidfielder
4Mario SuárezMidfielder
14GabiMidfielder
21ReyesStriker
9Radamel FalcaoStriker
25Sergio AsenjoGoalkeeper
-Filipe LuisDefender
15Álvaro DomínguezDefender
20JuanfranDefender
10Arda TuranMidfielder
18Toto SalvioMidfielder
21AdriánStriker
Players to Watch
Cesc Fàbregas
Cesc Fàbregas
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Four La Liga games, four goals for Cesc, who has adapted to life in his former surroundings effortlessly. He has struck a significant understanding with Lionel Messi in his short time at the club, and his current form makes him an indispensible member of Pep Guardiola's side.
Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The prolific Colombian has taken no time to settle in Spain following his goalscoring exploits for Porto in the previous two years, and five goals in his last two matches suggests that his transfer could prove to be a masterstroke for the capital club. He has the capability to cause the fragile Barca back line no end of problems.
Prediction
Given Atletico's recent misfortunes at Camp Nou, it is difficult to see them grabbing a sensational result, but Barca's recent defensive frailties suggest the encounter might be closer than previous victories for the hosts.
Editor's Prediction

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