Atlético Madrid - Barcelona prediction
It is undoubtedly the derby of this round in La Liga - the football clash between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona.
The Blaugranas failed to keep a clean sheet against Espanyol on New Year's Eve as Joselu scored a penalty in the 73rd minute.
But despite this, Barca remain the team with the strongest defense in the league this season - conceding only 6 goals in 15 games.
And as we know, games are won by defense.
The Catalans, however, left a slightly bitter aftertaste with their Copa del Rey performance on Wednesday.
When they conceded as many as 3 goals from the amateur Intercity. And they needed overtime to keep going.
Atlético Madrid also played in the Copa del Rey, but had no problems against Oviedo - a 2-0 win.
In fact, it was the second consecutive success with this result after beating Elche in La Liga last weekend.
Simeone's side have a decent football record against Barcelona recently.
As Atleti have lost just one of their last six meetings with Barca in all competitions (3-2-1).
But that loss was precisely in the most recent game against them. Then the score was 4-2 to the Blaugranas.
I think that even today the chances of the Catalans to win are greater.
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Atlético Madrid - statistics and info
This season is not among the best for Atlético Madrid. They are 9 points adrift of first place before the round.
And on that note, I'd say they're almost certainly out of the title race now.
Even more disappointing was their performance in the Champions League. The Dushekchis were eliminated in the group stage.
And so the two-time Champions League finalist under Diego Simeone is no longer among the European elite.
They have now gone six years without reaching the last four in the rich man's tournament.
Atleti won't even play Europa League football next month after finishing fourth in their group.
All this led to questions for Simeone.
No one disputes that the Argentine did a phenomenal job at Atlético Madrid.
Since his appointment in December 2011, he has won both the Spanish title and the Europa League twice.
And reached two Champions League finals.
But many are already questioning whether he is the right person to lead them out of this difficult situation.
That is why the next few months could be decisive for Diego Simeone .
The Copa del Rey is the only trophy that Atlético can realistically still win.
Just a few days ago, the capital city eliminated Oviedo from the tournament after a 2-0 win.
Barcelona - statistics and info
After the first round of La Liga 2023 was played, Barcelona and Real M were once again level on points at the top of the standings.
Barca were alone in first place during the World Cup break.
But a 1-1 draw with Espanyol last weekend allowed the Kings to draw level with their arch-rivals.
Xavi, his players and the club's fans were not happy after dropping points against the other team from Catalonia.
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz bore the brunt of their criticism.
The referee, who oversaw several matches in Qatar, showed 15 yellow cards and two red cards.
And later he was accused of trying to draw attention to himself.
Aside from the referee's performance, Barcelona had the slight misfortune of dropping two points.
As they created the better chances and really should have scored more than once.
"The draw is because of our own mistakes, especially in front of goal," admitted Xavi after the match.
Although the two teams are in a pack, the best online bookmakers favor Barca over Real in the title fight.
This is a bit of a surprise.
Because the Blancos have more recent experience of winning the league and their squad seems to be more settled.
Madrid also have a knack for saving their best until the crucial final few months of the campaign.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: Cloud; Savic, Witsel, Jimenez; Llorente, Kondogbia, Barrios, Koke, Carrasco; Griezmann, Morata
In question: Regilon, Hermoso
Lineup: Ter Stegen; Kunde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Pedri, Busquets, F. de Jong; Dembele, F. Torres, Fati
Punished: Lewandowski, Alba
Matches between Atlético and Barcelona
|LL||06/02/22||Barcelona 4:2 Atlético|
|LL||02/10/21||Atletico 2:0 Barcelona|
|LL||08/05/21||Barcelona 0:0 Atletico|
|LL||21/11/20||Atletico 1:0 Barcelona|
|LL||30/06/20||Barcelona 2:2 Atletico|
|SK||09/01/20||Barcelona 2:3 Atlético|
Ranking and Form in the league
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