This article deals with one of the important matches in the La Liga season of 2018/19, it deals with preview, analysis, head to head stats and prediction of the match. First meets third in La Liga on Saturday as league leaders Barcelona travel to title rivals Atletico Madrid looking to open up a four point gap over Diego Simeone’s side.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico will be looking for their first La Liga win over Barcelona since February 2010 when they host the Spanish champions on Saturday night. Currently the team is placed at 3rd position with just one point away from the table topper. They have scored 16 goals and just conceded 8 goals in this season 2018/19.

Antoine Griezmann has 3 goals and 4 assists in the 12 matches he played so far this season. He is the team’s star player this season. The team has played 12 matches with 6 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss. This loss came against Celta Vigo in their away match. Their last 6 encounters overall proves that they are giving a good fight. They have 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss to Dortmund in Champions League.

Currently the team is suffering from injury and most likely resort to utilising Francisco Montero, who started against Athletic Bilbao, and potentially shift another player out of position to accompany Montero in the centre. Manager Diego Simeone has also hinted at the possibility of shifting Saul into defence to assist in this dire circumstance.

Atletico are bound to have a gaping hole at the back, with four of their premium options at centre-back struggling with injury. This includes the injury of club captain and talisman Diego Godin, along with regular defensive options Jose Gimenez, Stefan Savic and Lucas Hernandez either being ruled out of the clash or doubtful.

Best Goal Keeper for a reason

Atletico have had a little less misfortune in midfield, as only Koke is doubtful with a muscle injury. He is reported to be back in training, and may make an appearance on the weekend. Their goal keeper Jan Oblak is rated as one of the best goal keepers in the league and his presence might test the likes of Messi and Suarez. He also has 100 clean sheets in 178 matches he played for Atletico Madrid. He has 72 clean sheets from 2014/15 season till now.

Barcelona

Barcelona has played 12 matches with 7 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses. Recently they suffered a loss to 12th placed team Real Betis by 3 – 4 in their home match. They suffered 2 losses in both home and away match. The loss over Real Betis was their last league match before the international break take over. It was the team’s second league defeat of the campaign, and they have dropped points in five of their 12 league fixtures this term.

They have scored total of 34 goals in this season and remains at top with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each top scored with 9 goals and remains number 1 and 2 respectively. Meanwhile Messi has an outstanding record against Atletico Madrid. He had scored 28 goals in 36 games so far.

Barca are leaking goals as of late, and have conceded an unbelievable seven goals in only their last three matches. Unfortunately the main source of errors have seemed to come from those in the centre, namely Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. Currently Barcelona is at the second place for conceding more goals among top 10 teams.

Head to Head stats

Both the teams have played total of 41 games each other. In that Barcelona has impressive 23 wins and Atletico Madrid has mere 8 wins and the remaining 10 matches have ended in a draw. Lastly Atletico Madird won against Barcelona in the year 2010 in their home match. After that its been 16 matches they played resulting in 12 wins for Barcelona and 4 draws. Atletico’s last home match against Barca ended in a draw ( 1 – 1 ).

Predicted Lineups

Atletico Madrid Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Hernandez, Filipe Luis; Koke, Rodri, Saul, Correa; Griezmann, Costa.​
Barcelona Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Arthur, Vidal; Coutinho, Suarez, Messi.​

 

Prediction

Barcelona having more chance to win over the injured and vulnerable Atletico Madrid. The result could be Barcelona winning against Atletico Madrid by 1 – 2.