La Liga preview: Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid likely line-ups, team news, live streaming in India
With La Liga contenders Real Madrid edging past Barcelona in the title race, Quique Setien's team face Atletico Madrid in a must-win match on Wednesday. Watch it live.
Having drawn two of their last three La Liga games, Barcelona will host high-flying Atletico Madrid on Wednesday hoping to get back to winning ways. You can watch the match live in India.
After the defending La Liga champions made a winning return to the league post the COVID-19 break, the star-studded team has been rather lacklustre. Barca have been unable to get desired results against Sevilla and Celta Vigo.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, come to the high-profile encounter on the back of four straight wins.
Where they stand in La Liga table
Barcelona lost their advantage to Real Madrid in La Liga’s points table despite starting as the league leaders following the forced break. They now trail Los Blancos by two points, sitting in second place on the table with 69 points.
Atletico Madrid’s consecutive victories in the last few matches have seen them climb from sixth to third, 11 points adrift of Barcelona.
Likely starting line-ups
Barcelona predicted starting XI: Marc-André ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clément Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Arturo Vidal, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi
Atletico Madrid predicted starting XI: Jan Oblak, Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savić, José Giménez, Renan Lodi, Ángel Correa, Thomas Partey, Saúl Ñíguez, Koke, João Félix, Diego Costa
Injury updates and team news
The Catalans will continue to miss the services of Ousmane Dembele, Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto, all of whom continue to recover from their injuries.
A huge boost in the midfield would be the return of veteran Sergio Busquets, who missed the clash against Celta Vigo due to suspension. Arthur Melo is also expected to be available after undergoing medical with Juventus recently.
For Diego Simeone, the only injured ones are Mario Hermoso and Sime Vrsaljko, whose services will not be available. Otherwise, the Rojiblancos will travel to Nou Camp with confidence high and near full-strength.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid head-to-head
Interestingly, Barcelona haven’t lost to Atletico Madrid in La Liga since February 2010, which will be a huge encouragement for Lionel Messi and Co.
Their most recent encounter was in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final where Atletico Madrid got the better of Barcelona 3-2.
Barcelona, on the other hand, won 1-0 against Atletico in the reverse leg of the fixture in December last year at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The last seven meetings between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga have seen the teams drawing thrice with Atletico Madrid's last point at the Camp Nou coming in September 2016.
Players to watch out for
The star-studded Barcelona side has many match-winners with captain Lionel Messi leading the list with 21 goals and 17 assists this season. His attacking partners Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann have 13 and 8 goals, respectively.
Though Diego Costa has been among the goals of late, Diego Simeone has some quality creators and scorers in Alvaro Morata, Joao Felix and Angel Correa among others.
What they said
Quique Setién: “Atletico Madrid are a very solid team defensively. It hampers a lot and it will be necessary to move well and between lines to have lucidity and precision to move in spaces reduced.”
Diego Simeone: “The next game will be really tough, like every time we play in Barcelona. Now it is time to rest and prepare so that we arrive in the best possible shape."
Where to watch Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona live
The Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona La Liga match will kick off at 1:30 am IST on Wednesday and will be streamed live on the official La Liga Facebook page.