Atletico Madrid will play host to Barcelona this Sunday evening as an enthralling contest awaits us at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Atleti have had a rock solid start to the season and are placed third in the points table. Barcelona, on the contrary, have found it hard to get going this season and it has been a topsy turvy ride in all honesty.
Ronald Koeman has struggled to impress the Camp Nou faithful thus far, and the Clasico defeat added salt to the wound. However, the Catalans have found some rhythm of late and entered the international break on the back of a 5-2 thumping of Real Betis.
Diego Simeone might be smelling blood with Barcelona and Real Madrid struggling this season. The side from Madrid have not won the La Liga title since the 2013/14 season, and it could be a golden chance for them to capitalise on the sloppy starts of the two giants.
Atletico will also be poised to land their first win against Barcelona in La Liga since February 2010. Simeone’s side have rather shockingly never been able to get the better off the Catalan giants in over a decade now.
Atletico Madrid Vs Barcelona Tactical Preview
Atletico Madrid are renowned for being a strong and well oiled defensive unit that defend deep and defend as a team. Koke, Saul and Felix will be instrumental for Atletico who will be missing several first-team regulars to injury.
Atletico would be more than happy in retaining less possession of the ball as they defend so deep, making it extremely difficult for the opponent to weave out of tight spaces in the final third. It might not be surprising to see Atletico take an early lead and then park the bus. However, parking the bus against a Barcelona side which possesses so much arsenal in Messi, Dembele and Griezmann is no easy task.
Barcelona will be seeking to return to Catalonia with all three points in the bag after having already dropped points on a handful of occasions this season. Koeman has been a bit iffy with his team selection since taking charge at Camp Nou.
Barcelona are expected to take to the field with a good morale after a 5-2 victory against Betis in the previous fixture. Messi found himself on the scoresheet twice, and it was certainly a massive positive for the Camp Nou faithful.
The Catalan side will be enjoying loads of possession in this fixture but will find it difficult to break down the Atleti defence. It is certain that Messi would be well marked by the Atleti defence.
Luis Suarez will be a huge miss for Atleti against Barcelona. The Uruguayan striker tested positive for the coronavirus during the international break and will be unable to face his former employer. Lucas Torreira has also been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Stefan Savic, Hectar Herrera, Mario Hermoso and Sime Vrsaljko are all ruled out of this fixture due to numerous fitness related concerns. However, there is some positive news in store in the form of Diego Costa. The Spaniard could very well feature in this contest from the substitutes bench.
Sergio Busquets will be missed by Barcelona in midfield. The Spaniard picked up a knee injury while on international duty. This event will allow Miralem Pjanic to get a place in the starting eleven.
Ansu Fati and Ronald Araujo are also out. One of the positives for Barca would be Phillippe Coutinho who could make an appearance off the bench in this fixture.
Atletico will be reliant on Felix upfront who has grown in his game compared to last season. The Portuguese will be leading the Atletico attack line along with Correa. Felix has shown some amazing composure upfront after looking rather easy to dispossess in his debut season in the Spanish capital. Simeone would want to unleash the pace that Felix has to offer with some quick-fire counter attacks.
Lionel Messi seemed to have a disappointing start to the season but has managed to bulldoze his way in the goal scoring charts. The Argentine was involved in a row with the club over the summer and nearly left the club. However, Messi stayed, and he is more important than ever to the club. It is not rocket science to figure that Messi would be heavily marked and the Atleti defence would not miss out on any chance to close him down immediately. Messi will have to weave his magic as always amidst a jam-packed field ahead of him.