Atletico Madrid Summary

Atletico Madrid has fallen away from leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the morale and confidence remain decent at the club. They see this game as a huge chance to narrow the gap given that Real Madrid lost to Villarreal on Saturday evening.

Simeone has almost his entire team to select from but for the aggressive centre-back Mario Hermoso. He is banned after seeing red versus Elche last weekend, although would have missed out against Barcelona due to an injury he sustained on Wednesday in training.

Reinildo will make up the central defensive trio alongside the experienced Gimenez and Savic.

Below is the predicted XI from the Spanish press, a strong side with only one spot up from grabs, most likely between Koke and youngster Barrios who Simeone admires.

Oblak; Nahuel Molina, Savic, Giménez, Reinildo, Carrasco; Kondogbia (or Koke), Marcos Llorente, Barrios or Koke; Joao Félix & Griezmann


Barcelona Summary

Barcelona’s spirits and chances of winning La Liga were boosted significantly after Real Madrid slumped to a 2-1 defeat in Villarreal on Saturday afternoon.

This is an immediate chance to regain ground after slipping up at home to Espanyol last weekend, where they inexplicably dropped points despite dominating against Espanyol. That 1-1 draw hurt their momentum and confidence.

The mood in the club is stable but it has been a turbulent season on and off the pitch. The manager and squad are just keen to do what they can on the pitch and a win is much needed here, but it’s a must not lose for certain.

Xavi has no injury concerns but there is a couple of important suspensions with Robert Lewandowski and Jordi Alba missing out. All is set for Ferran Torres to lead the line which is a big reduction to their attack. Balde starts at full-back.


Betting Analysis

Looking at the 1×2 market first, where the favourite for this game is Barcelona to win @ 2.24. Atletico Madrid has better team news and can be backed @ 3.10 to win this huge match. The draw is @ 3.35.

Moving onto the Asian handicap market for this contest. At home, an always reliable Atletico Madrid looks very appealing given that Barcelona is missing two key pieces in important areas. Atletico with a +0.25 start @ 1.84 is a strong preference, they have it in them to win but a draw also pays as a half-win. Barcelona is @ 2.03,  a draw returns half of the stake to the backer.

Looking at the Under / Over goal market where the line is set at 2.5. There is plenty of mutual respect between these two sides and so a tight match is expected. Whoever scores first will try to waste time, but a Barcelona goal first is better for a more open game for punters looking at in-running bet on this market. Under is @ 1.88 and the Over is @ 1.95.