Big Game Focus: Atletico v Barcelona

Atletico Madrid could go top of La Liga standings if they beat Barcelona this weekend. This is our Big Game Focus for that massive clash.

Barcelona are the current league leaders in the Primera División, with 24 points after 12 matches. Sevilla, Atlético Madrid and Deportivo Alavés are all just one point behind.

With Real Madrid currently down in sixth (but only a further three points behind), this is shaping out to be the most competitive La Liga season in years. Barcelona will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Real Betis just before the international break.

Here is a preview of the game, including betting advice, team news and predicted line-ups. You can bet on the game here.

Betting tips

Both Teams to Score has occurred in five of the last six matches between Atléti and Barcelona. Diego Simeone’s men have scored in all but one of their last nine league matches, when they were held to a goalless draw by Real at the Bernabeu. Both teams have scored in the Catalans’ last three matches. Odds for the same to occur this weekend are at 1.80.

Three of the last four encounters between these two Spanish giants have featured Under 2.5 Goals. There has only been three goals or more in just two of Atlético’s last 12 games in all competitions. Under 2.5 Goals has odds of 1.70.

Lionel Messi made his return from a broken arm for Ernesto Valverde’s team in their 4-3 loss to Real Betis. He scored a brace. That took his tally for the season to 14 goals in 13 matches across all competitions. The Argentine forward has scored 28 goals in 32 career appearances against Los Rojiblancos. He is valued at 2.10 for Anytime Goalscorer.

Team news

Diego Costa will be available to feature for Atlético, after injury kept him from playing for Spain during the international break. French centre-back Lucas Hernández also failed to report for international duty but should be back as well. The same cannot be said for Diego Godin and Stefan Savić, who are sidelined with thigh and calf problems respectively.

Philippe Coutinho returned to training for Barça this week, and should be available for selection. Defender Samuel Umtiti has recovered from injury, but is short of match fitness. Ivan Rakitić is suspended.

Likely line-ups

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Arias, Montero, Lucas Hernández, Filipe Luis; Correa, Partey, Saúl, Koké; Costa, Griezmann

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Arthur, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho