Quick Bit: Barcelona have a fantastic chance to build a gap atop the Spanish top flight as they visit Atletico Madrid in a Sunday La Liga showdown.
Barcelona have a fantastic chance to build a gap atop the Spanish top flight as they visit Atletico Madrid in a Sunday La Liga showdown.
The Blaugrana suddenly find themselves with a glorious opportunity after Real Madrid, level on points for the moment, fell to Villarreal just a day before. That affords Xavi and company a chance to build a lead should they secure any result on the road at the Wanda Metropolitano.
It won’t be easy, however, as they’ll have to do so without star striker Robert Lewandowski who begins a three-match suspension today for gestures made towards an official before the World Cup break.
Additionally, Barcelona come up against a suddenly in-form Atletico Madrid side that has won all four of its last matches, although three of those have come in Copa del Rey play. The hosts feature a number of players who are coming off great World Cup showings, including Antoine Griezmann who led his France side to the final. Striker Alvaro Morata is also fresh off a quality performance in Qatar despite Spain’s early exit.
The Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona live score
Atletico Madrid (3-5-2, right to left): 13. Oblak (GK) — 2. Gimenez, 20. Witsel, 15. Savic — 14. Llorente, 8. Griezmann, 4. Kondogbia, 34. Barrios, 21. Carrasco — 19. Morata, 7. Felix
Barcelona (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Ter Stegen (GK) — 23. Kounde, 15. Christensen, 4. Araujo, 28. Balde — 30. Gavi, 21. De Jong, 8. Pedri — 22. Raphinha, 14. Depay, 7. Dembele
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona live updates, highlights, commentary
95 mins to kickoff: The Blaugrana are struggling for defenders at the moment thanks to a few injuries. They’re reportedly in discussions with the representatives of Benjamin Pavard, who wants out of Bayern Munich and is out of contract this summer. It’s unlikely a move would be secured this winter, but he could be someone to arrive this summer.
120 mins to kickoff: Barcelona will be without two starters due to suspension in this match, most notably Robert Lewandowski, who serves a three-match suspension. Meanwhile, Jordi Alba was sent off last time out, triggering a one-match ban.
There are capable replacements for both. Ferran Torres has largely been a disappointment this season, so Xavi could look to Memphis Depay up front, after the Dutchman played well in Qatar once returning from injury. Meanwhile, Alex Balde is young but has done well in his few minutes playing behind Alba.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona lineups & team news
The biggest question for Diego Simeone is how to deploy his three attackers in Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata, and Joao Felix. Rumors continue to swirl about Felix’s future at Atleti, and that could affect his standing within the squad.
Griezmann was sensational at the World Cup in a deeper role, and he could be used in midfield, allowing the other two to start up top.
Mario Hermoso is suspended after being sent off in their last La Liga match.
Predicted Atletico Madrid XI (3-5-2): Oblak (GK) — Gimenez, Witsel, Savic — Llorente, Griezmann, Koke, Lemar, Carrasco — Morata, Felix
Atletico Madrid subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
With Xavi having rotated his squad heavily for the midweek Copa del Rey match, it’s tough to know who will remain and who will drop to the bench this weekend. Sergio Busquets is the biggest question mark, as the 34-year-old could be replaced by Frenkie de Jong to prevent overuse.
One player who won’t be involved, however, is Robert Lewandowski who is in the midst of a three-match suspension after being sent off in a match before the World Cup break. His ban was put off briefly for appeal, allowing him to take part in the draw with Espanyol last weekend, but it was upheld in court, so he is out of action for three games.
Memphis Depay could take that spot up front, having started midweek against Intercity FC, or Ferran Torres could slide over into a striker role. Jordi Alba is also suspended, meaning Alex Balde is likely to deputise.
Predicted Barcelona XI (4-3-3): Ter Stegen (GK) — Kounde, Christensen, Alonso, Balde — Gavi, De Jong, Pedri — Raphinha, Depay, Dembele
Barcelona subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
How to watch Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Here’s how to watch all of the action from this match in some of the major territories:
TSN app, TSN.ca
LaLiga TV, ITV4
ITVX, Viaplay Sports
beIN Sports Connect
Sky Sport 7 beIN Sports
beIN Sports Connect
Now Sports 2
sooka, beIN Sports Connect
StarHub TV+, beIN Sports Connect
UK: La Liga matches in the UK are carried on LaLiga TV and ITV, with ITV’s streaming platform ITVX available for online viewing.
USA: All La Liga matches in the United States are shown on ESPN’s premium streaming service ESPN+, requiring a subscription to view.
Canada: All La Liga matches in Canada are available via TSN’s streaming options.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona betting odds & lines
Barcelona are favored in this match, but they still sport plus odds as bookmakers give Atletico Madrid a fighting chance thanks to their recent good form.
Part of that will be down to the individual players available for selection. Robert Lewandowski’s absence certainly plays a factor, while Atletico sport Antoine Griezmann, one of the best players at the 2022 World Cup and in great form.
Both teamsto score Y / N
-145 / +100
1.64 / 2.00
Over / Under2.5 goals
-120 / -115
1.83 / 1.87
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