[wptab name=’Match Preview’]The Spanish quarter-final Champions league match brings the expected uncertainty, the same like in the La Liga. This means that in this rematch we can expect anything. In the first-leg game Barcelona was marked for a favorite, but in the end thanks to Neymar’s goal Barca managed to take a draw after going behind with Diego’s opener.
Now it seems Atletico are favourite, however, it is difficult to say that they are closer to the semi-finals when we know that all this season mutual encounters between Atletico and Barcelona finished without any winners. Speaking of that, Barca due to away goals have won the Spanish Super Cup over Atletico. Barca captain thinks that the need to win could benefit his side.
“Atletico cut down the space,” he said. “It’s not easy to create chances, and we have to be fluent in the game and move the ball quickly.
“It’s a really tough match. We’d have liked to have gone there with a better result, but it all depends on us.
“We have to win and that benefits us because we’re a team built to attack, but we are facing an opponent who is just the opposite.”
Last weekend, both teams played championship matches at home and both have celebrated. Simeone’s men a little harder, but they had and a more difficult team to play against. It was against Villarreal when Raul Garcia goal in the 14th minute was enough to seal a win. On the other side, Barcalona enrolled a 3-1 win over Real Betis.
Atletico still holds the leading position in La Liga , which is psychologically very important for this match . On Saturday things did not go smoothly against Villarreal , however , Atletico won, which shows that Atletico have grown in the big team that win even when they do not excel .
This game was a classic a perfunctory job and luckily Atletico took a lead early in the game , and then just maintained a 1-0 lead until the end . Final 1:0 was enough for three points and to turn focus to Barcelona , with which they managed at the Camp Nou to pull a draw and make a very good situation for them ahead of the re-match.
Coach Simeone has risked a little in the first match when he decided to sent some players to pitch knowing that they were not fully prepared .
He Paid dearly for that decision , because the key player Diego Costa and Arda Turan came out early because of injuries. Both have missed Saturday’s match in which stopper Miranda and midfielder Gabi were out too. Still, they return for Champions league match with Barcelona, while it is very unlikely to expect the same from Diego Costa and Arda Turan, which puts Barca ex player David Villa alone in attack.
Probable starting lineup of Atletico Madrid: Courtois – Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe – Gabi, Mario Suarez – Koke, Diego – Raul Garcia Villa
Barcelona are apparently very close to winning and maybe all three trophies this season, but each new game carries the possibility to lose any of them. This situations, puts a lot of pressure to team that doesn’t look so perfect and convincing, especially in defense, where they have a lot of problems with injuries.
The Catalans laid all their hopes in the first match against Atletico and they had initiative, they created more opportunities, however, eventually Martino’s men rescued a draw.
Now things are different as they do not have any advantage and in Madrid they will have to play a lot more determined, which will leave some space back in their vulnerable defense.
In Saturday’s match against Betis attack was good, but again they conceded a goal, which is not surprising when aged Pinto is on the goal except Valdes, who is out for the season, while Puyol and Pique due to injuries are out too.
Against Betis Neymar came off the bench like the Spaniard, Fabregas, and unless the coach Martino decides on the offensive variant with Pedro instead Fabregas both of them should start.
Probable starting lineup Barcelona: Pinto – Diego Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta – Neymar, Messi, Fabregas (Pedro)
Match Prediction : Athough last games between these two sides ended without a winner and with a 1-1 result, situation is different now, since Barcelona have to score. Led by Messi, Neymar and others they can score one or more goals, but in the same time, this attacking display should left some space behind, so both teams to score or over 2,5 goals seems like a good choice here.
[wptab name=’Match Video news’]
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