Next Saturday, January 11, 2014 (11:00 AM Pacific, 19:00 GMT), Atlético Madrid will entertain FC Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon in the most important match of round 19 of Liga BBVA. The Colchoneros share the lead of La Liga with the Blaugranas, and this match might be a good opportunity for the home side to “avenge” the outcome of the Supercopa matches that awarded FC Barcelona yet another trophy.
For what will probably be the major clash of the season so far, Atlético Madrid’s head coach Diego “El Cholo” Simeone has no major injury problems on his team. The Uruguayan centre back Diego Godin is still recovering from a minor injury he suffered previously, however, he might be fully fit for Saturday’s clash. Simeone’s Atlético Madrid have been impressive this term, their game flow is quite remarkable and their narrow, Italian-styled 4-4-2 is spreading the “chaos” at La Liga and at the international level.
Atlético Madrid is on a run of important and difficult matches. They come from a narrow 1-0 win at Málaga and from a bitter draw at Mestalla against a reborned Valencia from Juan Antonio Pizzi.
As for FC Barcelona, the last three matches were marked by goal galores. The Blaugranas scored 13 times (2-5; 4-0; 4-0) against Getafe, Elche and Getafe once again, and pundits claim that the “old Barcelona” is back even if without their famous tiki-taka. Gerardo Martino brought new ideas to the Catalan team and, despite some uncharacteristic performances earlier this season, the team now seems to be adapting to his ideas.
“Tata” Martino will be able to rely on the presence of Neymar, who missed the Copa del Rey match due to stomach problems, and of Xavi, who was given some time to rest in order for him to recover his fitness.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Prediction
All eyes will be on the Vicente Calderon next Saturday to see who will be victorious in the clash between those that are probably the two best teams in the Liga BBVA currently. Will the astute Diego Simeone provide a tactical lesson to the experienced Gerardo Martino? Will Messi’s comeback motivate Barcelona to impose the first home defeat to Atlético Madrid or will Diego Costa give Barcelona supporters something to moan about during the rest of the week? All answers to this classic clash spiced with a South American flavour will be given next Saturday. That being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 to Atlético Madrid.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona TV Info
The match will be televised on beIN Sports (USA), Now TV, Sky Sports 4 (UK), and Canal 1 (Spain).