The Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League match will take place on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific). Barcelona welcome Atletico Madrid to the Camp Nou on Tuesday, in what should be an enticing all-Spanish Champions League quarter final clash.
Tata Martino certainly has not had an easy ride as manager of Barcelona, but a magnificent run of results recently, which included the thrilling win over Real Madrid, have kept his critics quiet for now.
Having been embarrassingly knocked out of the Champions League last year, the Barcelona players, as well as the fans, are keen on making amends this time around. Therefore, Martino will now have to prove his credentials in the Europe’s elite competition to win over his doubters, but it will be far from easy ride against La Liga league leader Atletico Madrid.
The job Diego Simeone has done at Atletico has been nothing short of sensational. The former Argentina star is arguably one of the best young managers around and his fearless young side have won the hearts of many neutrals.
Atlectio have been chartering into unknown territory this season, having been placed at the top of the La Liga table as well as progressing into the quarter finals of the Champions League.
However, rather than being fazed by the occasion, Simeone’s young side will certainly thrive in it and if they can see-off the mighty Barcelona to enter into the semi-finals of the competition, it will be forever remembered in the club’s history as one of their greatest victories.
Victor Valdes has been ruled out of the season with a knee injury and as a result, José Manuel Pinto looks set to replace the Spanish international between the sticks.
Carles Puyol is still unavailable due to injury which means that Javier Mascherano will continue at central defence alongside Gerard Pique, with Jordi Alba and Dani Alves being deploying on the full-back positions. Marc Bartra and Adriano are also in contention.
The midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fábregas and Xavi look likely to start, with the fantastic trio of Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Neymar leading the three-pronged attack for the Blaugrana.
Pedro Rodriguez, Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello will be providing a wonderful option from the bench for Martino.
The sensational Thibaut Courtois will start in goal for Atletico and the young custodian will be shielded by a back-four most likely consisting of Diego Godín, Filipe Luis, Francisco Juanfran and Miranda. Toby Alderweireld and Emiliano Insua will be options from the bench but young Javi Manquillo is ruled out with a neck injury.
The midfield should consist of Mario Suárez and Gabi, with the dangerous Koke deployed in the playmakers role behind the striker.
Rual Garcia will be unavailable due to suspension which means that David Villa is set to earn a recall to the squad to face his former employers, with Arda Turan and goal-machine Diego Costa completing the lineup.
Barcelona (Probable XI): Pinto; Alba, Mascherano, Pique, Dani Alves; Iniesta, Fabregas, Busquets, Xavi, Neymar; Messi
Atletico Madrid (Probable XI): Courtois; Luis, Miranda, Godin, Juanfran; Villa, Suarez, Koke, Gabi, Turan; Costa
Barcelona: W W W W W
Atletico Madrid: W W W W W
11/01/2014 Atlético Madrid 0 – 0 FC Barcelona
28/08/2013 Barcelona 0 – 0 Atlético Madrid (Super Cup)
21/08/2013 Atlético Madrid 1 – 1 FC Barcelona (Super Cup)
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Prediction
There has been very little to choose from between the two sides in their last few meeting, which has been a testament to how far Atletico Madrid have progressed in the last year. By the same token, it can also be said that Barcelona may have regressed a bit in the past season due a transition at management level.
While it would be stupid to think that Barcelona are not the force they were a few seasons back, Martino’s side have been slightly less pleasing on the eye. That being said though, the Blaugrana are certainly one of the best teams in the world and with the likes of Lionel Messi and co. in their ranks, the Catalan giants can run riot past anyone on their day.
Atletico Madrid are a wonderfully well drilled side, who are miserly at the back, having conceded a meager 22 goals this season. On the other hand, their attack, led by the magnificent Diego Costa is also certainly a force to be reckoned with.
There have been only 2 goals shared between the two teams in their last three meetings, which is bit of a surprise considering the attacking talent at both sides’ disposal. However, it only reiterates the fact that the Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could not be any more closely matched.
Barcelona may have the slight edge in terms of experience as this is Atletico’s first appearance in the quarter finals of the Champions League since 1997.
Barcelona have to win the game while Atletico might be happy with a score draw to take back to Madrid. The match will be a very tight but Barcelona may nick it by the odd.
Barcelona 1 – 0 Atletico Madrid
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Television Info
The match will be televised on Fox Deportes, Fox Sports 2 USA, and Sky Sports 1 HD.