This weekend’s La Liga schedule throws up a gigantic top-of-the-table clash between title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Only two points separate the sides heading into this encounter, with Real Madrid ready to take advantage of either or both teams dropping points.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 8 May, kick-off 15:15
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid: Premier Sports, Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Yannick Carrasco scored the only goal of the game in first-half injury time, as Atletico beat Barca 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano in November.
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid Predictions and Preview
It doesn’t get much bigger than this when it comes to recent La Liga title races. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are separated by just two points with only four games remaining. This is the final time any of the three title rivals clash, although Madrid are away to fourth-placed Sevilla the day after this game, with Los Nervionenses not completely out of the reckoning just yet.
Atletico’s victory over Barca earlier this season ended more than a decade of disappointment for Los Rojiblancos in this fixture. There have been intermittent cup successes, but Atleti hadn’t beaten the Blaugrana in La Liga since February 2010. Barcelona won 14 of their 20 league meetings in between.
The visitors have managed to get themselves back in the groove in recent weeks, winning three of their last four league games following a run of three in nine prior to that. Diego Simeone’s side have seen their advantage at the top of the table vanish, but a big performance here would give them another huge shot in the arm.
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Barcelona to win and BTTS
Barcelona to win 2-1
Messi to score first
Atletico start this weekend’s game as the 19/5 underdogs though. Barca may have fallen to a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Granada last week and lost El Clasico earlier in April, but the Catalan giants have been in good form aside from that. Ronald Koeman has got his team playing some attractive football, winning 19 of their last 25 La Liga fixtures, losing only those two matches.
The home team are the 3/4 favourites with William Hill in these Barcelona v Atletico Madrid predictions. They have the recent form and historical advantage over Atleti, who’ve appeared leggy and lacking in ideas for much of the last few months. A draw at 14/5 would undoubtedly be a better result for the visitors, while helping Real potentially gain an advantage over both of these teams.
Neither side is suffering too badly on the injury front at present, although Barcelona are without the attacking trio of Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho and Martin Braithwaite. Renan Lodi is the only absentee for Atletico.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi has been in superb form of late, and is set to win the Pichichi for a record-extending eighth time after netting 28 goals so far this season. The Argentine has scored 12 times in his last 10 appearances in all competitions, and is the 23/10 favourite to open the scoring here.
One to watch for Atletico Madrid: Former Barca man Luis Suarez is on 19 for the season in his debut campaign with Atletico. The goals have dried up a little of late, with the Uruguayan failing to find the net in his last three appearances. He only has one in his last six and three in his last 13 across all competitions, but it’d be no surprise if he bagged this weekend at 9/5 in the anytime market.
Long shot: Barca have scored exactly two goals in eight of their last 16 games against Atletico in all competitions, winning the same number of matches too. A 2-1 home win on Saturday afternoon is 15/2 in these Barcelona v Atletico Madrid tips, rising to 33/1 if you add Messi as the first scorer.