Friday, October 15, 2021

Prediction: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 1 Oct 2021

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Verdict: Atletico Madrid win

Best Odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a battle between two Spanish heavyweights this weekend, Atletico Madrid will welcome Barcelona to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

Atletico Madrid

Starting with the hosts, while Atletico Madrid might have managed to snatch a controversial last-gasp winner on foreign soil in midweek, there is no doubt that Diego Simeone’s side will be desperate to build off of that result. Eventually leaving the San Siro with a late turnaround victory against AC Milan on Champions League duties, Los Colchoneros are still a side trying to find some stability. With their sights set on trying to defend their La Liga crown this season, Atletico were last seen on domestic action putting in what would have been another worrying display. Failing to build off of their remarkable comeback away at Getafe on September 19th, Simeone’s men were hit with a dreadful 1-0 loss away at Alaves last weekend. With just a pair of La Liga wins to their name from their previous five attempts, Saturday’s hosts could be calling on Luis Suarez to spearhead their charge on home soil. Bagging that last-gasp winner in Milan earlier in the week, the former Barcelona ace has three goals in as many outings across all formats.

Team News

Limping off at the San Siro in midweek, England international defender Kieran Trippier is not expected to feature on Saturday night.

After missing Atletico’s 2-1 win in Milan, defender Stefan Savic is likely to return at the heart of Diego Simeone’s defence this weekend. Coming off the bench and finding the net in midweek, former Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann is pushing for a recall.

Barcelona

As for the visitors, while Atletico might have eventually managed to land a last-gasp European victory in midweek, the same cannot be said for what is a downbeat Barcelona side. With the former Spanish champions in the midst of a nightmare run of form, Ronald Koeman’s side were blown away thanks to a 3-0 drumming against Benfica. With many around the Nou Camp feeling that the one-time Everton boss must be removed from his spot in the dugout, they are also tipped as a real underdog to secure another top-four finish this season. Despite picking up what was a much-needed victory against Levante last weekend, Barca have now managed to win just one of their last five matchups across all formats. Opening up their Champions League adventure with back-to-back 3-0 drummings, Koeman’s side have really struggled to fill the void left by Lionel Messi’s departure over the summer. Now failing to win any of their last four straight meetings against Saturday’s opponents, the Catalonia giants could face a stern test in the capital.

Team News

In the midst of a real crisis, Barcelona will once again be without the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Aguero, Jordi Alba and Martin Braithwaite on Saturday night.

Still trying to make a return to full match fitness, starlet Ansu Fati is likely to settle for a spot on the bench this weekend.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off back in May, Saturday’s opponents played out a 0-0 stalemate at the Nou Camp.
    • Barcelona have failed to win any of their last four straight meetings against Atletico Madrid.
    • Ronald Koeman’s side have managed to win just one of their last five matchups across all formats.
    • Atletico have played out three straight stalemates on home soil across all formats, including back-to-back La Liga draws.
    • Continuing on from last season, Barca have won just one of their last four La Liga fixtures on the road.

    Conclusion

    While we might have a battle between two struggling Spanish giants this weekend, Atletico Madrid should be smelling a chance to lay down a domestic marker here. Just about managing to snatch a last-gasp 2-1 win away at AC Milan in midweek, Saturday’s hosts will be looking to cash in on what is a Barcelona side in the midst of a crisis. Blown away on Champions League duties in midweek thanks to a dreadful 3-0 drumming away at Benfica, Ronald Koeman’s side could face another stern test on their travels. Unbeaten in each of their last four straight meetings against the former La Liga champions, we’re backing a home victory at the Wanda Metropolitano.

    Verdict: Atletico Madrid win

    Best Odds: 20/21

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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