Barcelona vs Atlético preview: confirmed line-ups, news, quotes
Barcelona and Atlético Madrid will vie for the chance to meet Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final when they face off in Thursday's second last-four tie.
Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid: preview
Atlético Madrid will be aiming to end a long winless run against Barcelona when the LaLiga clubs meet in the second semi-final of the new, four-team Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday evening (20:00 CET).
Los Rojiblancos now haven't beaten Barça in nine games in all competitions - a negative sequence that stretches back nearly four years, to an April 2016 Champions League semi-final win at their former Vicente Calderón home ground.
The winners of tonight's clash at the King Abdullah Stadium will face Real Madrid in the final on Sunday, after Los Blancos strolled to a 3-1 triumph over Valencia in Wednesday's opening last-four tie.
Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid: team news and predicted line-ups
Injury victims Arthur Melo (groin), Ousmane Dembélé (thigh) and Marc-André ter Stegen (knee) are all unavailable to Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde, while his Atlético Madrid counterpart, Diego Simeone, is without Diego Costa (back) and Thomas Lemar (hamstring). However, Koke, Stefan Savic and Sime Vrsaljko were all fit to be named in the Atlético Super Cup squad after overcoming injuries.
Barcelona confirmed line-up: Neto, S. Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Vidal, Busquets, De Jong, Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Atlético Madrid confirmed line-up: Oblak, Trippier, Felipe, Savić, Lodi, Herrera, Thomas, Saúl, Correa, João Félix, Morata
What the coaches said:
Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona:
"It [the Spanish Super Cup] has always been the first title of the season between the champions of LaLiga and the champions of the Copa del Rey. I think it was fine as it was. It’s changed. We’ll assess it once it’s over. What’s obvious is that the games are attractive ones for the fans, but from the sporting point of view, there’s only one league champion. And only one cup winner."
Diego Simeone, Atlético Madrid:
"We go into the game with good momentum, with things to improve. Playing against the best in the world makes you stronger because you have to turn on the alarms from the start and the team grows and improves. It will be different from the league games because there is a direct elimination and only one result, which is to win."