25 November 2018
Saturday’s La Liga encounter between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano will see the two sides battling it out for the top spot.
The hosts will enter the match full of confidence after securing four triumphs in the previous five meetings across all competitions. Los Colchoneros are unbeaten in the past nine league games, as they have wrapped up five wins while being held to four draws during the run. Moreover, with a record of five wins and one draw, Los Rojiblancos brag an almost perfect home record this season, during which they’ve allowed just three goals to their opponents. With eight goals conceded so far, Diego Simeone’s men have the best defensive record in the Spanish top flight, but they are yet to impress in the final third. Although they’ve failed to find the back of the net only twice this year, Atletico Madrid scored an average of 1.33 goals per match, which puts them on a par with Espanyol.
On the other hand, an unexpected 4-3 loss to Betis at Camp Nou just before the international break has brought Barcelona’s 42-game unbeaten home league streak to an end. The reigning Spanish champions struggle to keep a clean sheet this year, as they’ve only protected their net twice in the opening 12 games. Additionally, the Catalans have conceded a minimum of six goals on six occasions so far, which puts them on a par with Huesca. But, the Blaugrana are the only team in the Spanish top flight that has managed at least one goal in all league clashes so far, having scored a minimum of two goals eight times so far, which is the joint-best record in Spain. However, Ernesto Valverde’s players have failed to seal a victory two times in the last three road games, having lost 2-1 to Leganes and played out a 1-1 draw with Valencia, before capturing a tight 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Provisional line-up – Atletico Madrid:
Gk: Oblak Defense: Lucas Hernandez – Savic – Montero Rubio – Arias – Filipe Luis Midfield: Thomas Partey – Saul Niguez – Angel Correa Attack: Gelson Martins – Griezmann
Provisional line-up – Barcelona:
Gk: Marc-Andre ter Stegen Defense: Pique – Lenglet – Sergi Roberto – Alba Midfield: Sergio Busquets – Arthur Melo – Arturo Vidal Attack: Messi – Malcom – Luis Suarez
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