Second-place Atlético Madrid are LaLiga’s form team, with six wins from the past six. But the momentum generated by their free-scoring ways of late could be halted at Camp Nou on Sunday, where they will face league leaders Barcelona.
There is an argument to be made that this is as good a time as possible to play Barça. The Catalans have drawn three of the past six in LaLiga and have seen their lead atop the table trimmed from 11 points to five. What’s more, Diego Simeone has never lost to an Ernesto Valverde-coached side, and Simeone’s Atlético appear much fresher than Valverde’s Barça at the moment.
However, history sides with the hosts. Atlético have not won at Camp Nou since 2006 and Simeone has yet to mastermind a league win over Lionel Messi and company since he took over in 2011. Atleti have not taken all three points against the blaugrana since 2010.
In order to end that barren run and make LaLiga a true two-horse race, Simeone is expected to turn to the XI that hammered Sevilla last Sunday. That team featured four central midfielders with Vitolo, Ángel Correa and Kévin Gameiro available in reserve. While he likely will not start, Simeone will welcome back Lucas Hernández to the squad — he has been declared fit following a hamstring malady.
Oblak; Vrsaljko, Giménez, Godín, Filipe Luís; Gabi, Thomas, Koke, Saúl; Griezmann, Costa.
Barcelona 2-1 Atlético Madrid.
How to watch
Date: March 4, 2018
Location: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Kickoff time: 16:15 CEST, 15:15 GMT/BST, 10:15 a.m. EST, 7:15 a.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: Barça Blaugranes
Available TV/streaming: beIN LaLiga, beIN Sports Connect (Spain), Sky Go UK, Sky Go Extra (United Kingdom), beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, fuboTV (United States), beIN Sports 2 (France), ESPN2 Sur (Argentina), PPTV Sport (China)
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