Atlético Madrid possible starting lineup vs Barcelona in LaLiga week 16
What will Diego Simeone’s side look like against Barcelona on Sunday 8 January?
Atlético Madrid will not be looking to do favours for anybody but themselves as they start 2023 in the most difficult way possible. City rivals Real Madrid slipped up yesterday against Villarreal but Simeone’s side won’t give Barcelona and easy ride at the Cívitas Metropolitano on Sunday 8 January in order to let the Catalans overtake Los Blancos in the title race that is getting hotter by the week.
Los Rojiblancos currently sit 4th in the league after 15 games, 2 points behind Real Sociedad, who will have already played (against Almería) by the time Atlético kick off. The last league game before the new year for the side from the capital saw two second half goals compensate for a Mario Hermoso red card that came earlier as they beat lowly Elche 2-0.
Antoine Griezmann was fantastic in that game and ran the show as he continued his slow transformation into a midfielder, this time with pink hair. João Félix got the first with a tap-in header after great work from the aforementioned Frenchman and Morata bagged the second with just over 15 minutes to go after some great footwork to dance into the box from the right side of the pitch.
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Atlético Madrid team news
Reguilón and Hermoso are the only two names that Simeone won’t be able to squeeze onto his team sheet on Sunday, but apart from the pair of defenders he has a full squad available. Reinildo should come in to replace the injured Reguilón while Savic trained during the week, meaning his inclusion is also likely in the back line.
In Atlético’s most recent game - a 0-2 win against Real Oviedo in the Copa del Rey - Marcos Llorente scored the opener and the former Real Madrid man is in line to start on the right side of midfield given the return of World Cup winner Nahuel Molina at right-back. João Félix was absent in that game, so should also start.
One player on everyone’s lips is central midfielder, Pablo Barrios. The youth team product has shone brightly since his inclusion in the first team, even getting his name on the scoresheet, and is in line to partner Geoffrey Kondogbia in the middle of the pitch against FC Barcelona.
Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona: match preview
For those watching, this game should, in theory, at least clear up the huge doubt we have surrounding both of these teams: are they any good? Neither have Europe’s biggest continental trophy to fight for anymore, which gives the domestic title a new flavour, but both sides will be looking at Real Madrid’s error-strewn performance yesterday and think that there is room to put them under some form of pressure.
Xavi’s Barcelona line-up for the game with have one huge Polish-striker-shaped hole at the top of the structure, as Lewandowski’s overturned ban was over-overturned and he will now serve a 3-game suspension. Chief supply man Jordi Alba is also out after receiving a red card from a certain Mateo Lahoz against Espanyol last week.