10 January 2020
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will lock horns in a massive Spanish Super Cup semi-final clash at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
Although unbeaten in their last 12 outings in all competitions (W8, D4), the reigning La Liga holders have won just once in their past four games (D3). Nonetheless, Barcelona’s recent matches have witnessed a lot of action, with five of their last six fixtures producing over 2.5 goals and seeing both teams score. Ernesto Valverde’s main worry ahead of the kick-off is a fragile defense that has failed to keep a clean sheet in seven of Barcelona’s previous nine competitive games, allowing over 1.5 goals on three of those occasions. Meanwhile, the Catalans have been unstoppable in the final third over the past couple of months, netting 2+ match goals in eight of their last ten fixtures while finding the opening goal six times across that ten-game sequence.
As for Atletico, they come into this encounter on a run of four consecutive triumphs, all of which have seen them open the scoring and subsequently add precisely one goal. Breaking the deadlock will be of the essence here, considering Los Colchoneros have last defeated Barcelona after shipping the opener in 2009. In fact, the Madrid giants have picked up only one victory in their previous 17 competitive H2Hs with the Catalans (D5, L12), with ten of their failures in that period coming via a single-goal margin. Diego Simeone will rely on airtight defense to deliver him a positive outcome here, as Atletico have kept a clean sheet in three of their last five games in all competitions, limiting their opponents to one apiece in the other two.
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