Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid: possible starting line-ups
Simeone will start Kondogbia; Koeman will go for the same team that won at Mestalla for the LaLiga match between Atleti and Barça, at Camp Nou on Saturday 8 May 2021.
Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid. First in LaLiga visits third. But the biggest winner of the match could well be second placed Real Madrid.
Simeone’s side lead the table, on 76 points, Real Madrid and Barcelona are pegged two behind on 74, but Real Madrid are in second because they hold the head to head advantage over their eternal rivals. Zidane’s men also have the head to head advantage over Atleti. Which means if Barcelona win (and Simeone has never won at the Camp Nou, though the 1-1 draw he secured there in 2014 was worth a LaLiga title) they will in fact open up a path for Real Madrid to take the title - if Barça win and the Bernabéu-based outfit win the rest of their games, they’ll be crowned champions.
If, however, Atlético can do what Simeone’s never managed and win at the Camp Nou, and they win all their remaining games, they’ll be LaLiga Champions 2020/21. But there are still three games to play after this weekend, so Barça are thinking of nothing other than beating Atleti and hoping Real Madrid slip up. Which could happen on Sunday, when Zidane’s men play fourth placed Sevilla.
Barcelona and Atlético’s teams for Saturday’s crunch match:
Barcelona turned things around last weekend at Mestalla, coming back from being a goal down to win 2-3 against Valencia, and save a major surprise, coach Koeman plans to go with the same team, in which Ronald Araújo had come in for Mingueza and Dest for Sergi Roberto. Barça will go for a 3-4-1-2, with three central defenders (Araújo, Piqué, Lenglet), with two wing-backs (Alba and Dest) pushing up high. The midfield engine room will be comprised of Busquets and Pedri, while De Jong pushes on ahead of them and into the box. Up front, Messi and Griezmann, who’s ahead of Dembélé in the pecking order right now.
It’s worth remembering that Barça have four players one card off a sanction: Minguez, Griezmann, Messi and De Jong, with the latter pair having been on four cards for several games now. If any of them are booked they’ll miss the next game against Getafe.
Atleti’s coach Simeone also appears to be clear about his starting XI against Barcelona. Once again he’ll go for a system with three central defenders, Savic, Giménez and Hermoso, with Trippier and Carrasco on the wings. The only doubt the Argentinean coach has is over Giménez, if he’s not ready, his place will be taken by Felipe.
After his fine game against Elche, Kondogbia looks likely to keep his place in the starting side. He’ll anchor the midfield behind Koke and Lemar. Up front, no doubts: Marcos Llorente and Luis Suárez, facing his old side for the first time, after he missed the match against Barcelona at the Wanda due to covid-19.
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