Saturday, July 13, 2024

Prediction: Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 21 Apr 2023

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Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to make a return to winning ways on Sunday afternoon, Barcelona will welcome Atletico Madrid to the Nou Camp for a heavyweight showdown.

Barcelona

Starting with the hosts, while Barcelona might still be cruising towards a first La Liga crown since 2019 this season, Xavi’s side have hit somewhat of a recent wobble. Now having to settle for a pair of sluggish 0-0 stalemates against Getafe and Girona, the champions-elect have failed to win any of their last three straight meetings against La Liga opposition. Shockingly crashing out of the Copa del Rey on April 5th as they slumped to a 4-0 second-leg drumming at the hands of Real Madrid, Sunday’s hosts have also shown some extended issues in the final third. Despite marking their return from March’s international break with a 4-0 victory away at Elche, Barcelona have failed to bag a single strike on their three-match winless run. However, still opening this weekend’s fixtures holding a commanding 11-point buffer over the chasing pack, Xavi’s side will be hoping to make a La Liga statement in Catalonia.

Team News

Still dealing with respective injury issues, Barcelona will once again be without the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Andreas Christensen, Pedri and Frankie de Jong this weekend.

While attacking talisman Robert Lewandowski might have failed to find the net in five of his last six meetings against La Liga opposition, the ex-Bayern Munich record-breaker will spearhead Barca’s charge on Sunday afternoon. Settling for a spot on the bench in last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Getafe, 20-year-old Ansu Fati could be handed a full recall here.

Atletico Madrid

As for the visitors, cruising their way to a top-four finish this season, Atletico Madrid are enjoying what has been a stellar extended flurry. Last seen picking up a 2-1 victory at home against Almeria, Diego Simeone’s side should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Only continuing on a real purple patch since returning from the World Cup’s winter break, Los Colchoneros are unbeaten in each of their last 13 straight top-flight appearances – a run that stems all the way back to January 8th. In fact, along with winning each of their previous eight consecutive La Liga outings, it should also be noted that Atletico have collected 33 points on that 13-match romp. Heading into March’s international break with a routine 3-0 romp at home against relegation scrappers Valencia, some in Simeone’s camp could be smelling the chance to spring a real upset at the Nou Camp.

Team News

Picking up a thigh injury while away with Holland during last month’s international break, former Barca forward Memphis Depay will miss out on a return to Catalonia on Sunday afternoon.

Likewise, Atletico will also be without the duo of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Marcos Llorente due to suspension here. However, bagging both goals in last weekend’s 2-1 win against Almeria, ex-Barca star Antoine Griezmann will spearhead Simeone’s attack at the Nou Camp.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides met for their reverse La Liga meeting on January 8th, Barcelona picked up a 1-0 victory in the capital.
    • Likewise, Sunday’s hosts have lost just one of their previous four La Liga meetings against Los Colchoneros.
    • Four of the last five meetings between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have finished with under 2.5 goals.
    • Xavi’s side have failed to record a single strike in any of their last three straight meetings against La Liga opposition.
    • Atletico have collected 33 points from their last 13 La Liga appearances.

    Conclusion

    While neutrals might be treated to a heavyweight affair on Sunday afternoon, chances could come at a premium in Catalonia. Although Barcelona might still be holding a commanding 11-point buffer at the top of the La Liga standings, they have shown some recent issues in the final third. Along with now playing out back-to-back 0-0 stalemates against Getafe and Girona, Xavi’s side have failed to record a single strike in their last three meetings against top-flight opposition. Knowing that they face a tough task when a high-flying Atletico visit Catalonia this weekend, Los Colchoneros could be smelling the chance to spring a real upset away from the capital. However, it should be noted, with four of the last five meetings between Sunday’s opponents finishing with one or neither side finding the net, we are backing a similar outcome here.

    Verdict: Both teams to score – No

    Best Odds: 19/20

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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