Vicente CalderA?n, Madrid
Saturday 12th September, 2015, 18:30 GMT
FC Barcelona travel to Vicente Calderon having been unbeaten at the ground since 2009. The Blaugrana will be hoping to repeat the 1-0 success they had at the Calderon on their way to the title last season.
Atletico themselves will be hoping to get back to the run they had against Barcelona between 2005 to 2009, when they lost just once at home and were arguably the bogey team for the Blaugrana.
Both sides have title aspirations and have won the league over the last two season. Both come in the game with a 100% record and are yet to concede a goal in the two La Liga games.
The transfer window has not seen much movement for either side with the transfer ban on FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid making little changes to the side that finished third last season.
Atletico Madrid Team News and Tactics:
Atletico are expected to line-up in a 4-4-1-1 formation and largely with the same team that thrashed Sevilla 3-0 at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Griezmann was once again star of the show with two assists. He had scored a wonderful goal to win the first game for Atletico and seems to have carried the same form that saw him net an impressive 22 goals in La Liga last season.
Griezmann is expected to partner Fernando Torres upfront, the player infamous for being the biggest thorn in the Barca side during his first spell at the club.
The midfield will have Gabi and Tiago in central areas, although Tiago is still a doubt for the game and Saul remains the backup option. Koke and Oli Torres are expected to play in the left and right side of the midfield, respectively.
The full-backs Filipe Luis and Juanfran are expected to provide width with Godin and Gimenez manning the central defence.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-4-1-1):Oblak(Gk); Filipe Luis, Juanfran, Godin, Giminez; Koke, Oli Torres, Gabi, Tiago ; Torres, Griezmann
FC Barcelona team news and tactics
FC Barcelona are expected to line-up in their 4-3-3 line-up, as expected. The Blaugrana are set to hand Marc Andre Ter-Stegen his La Liga debut with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo out for up to three weeks.
Barcelona will also be without the suspended Gerard Pique, who is serving the four game ban he received in the Spanish Super Cup tie against Athletic Bilbao. Injury to Dani Alves and Douglas has also created problems for the club on the right side of the defence. Compounding the problem is the injury to make-shift right-back Sergi Roberto, who remains a doubt, but is likely to be fit. A question mark will still remain over his fitness even if he (forcefully) plays, something that can be exploited by the home side
Neymar will be in the starting XI for the first time having played for Brazil in the friendly in USA after recovering from mumps. The famous ‘MSN’ of last season will subsequently be in action for the first time this season.
Vermaelen is expected to partner Mascherano at center-back while Jordi Alba will be marauding up and down on the left-flank from the left-back position.
The rest of the team picks itself with Iniesta, Rakitic, Busquets forming the midfield.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-3-3): Ter-Stagen(Gk); Roberto, Alba, Vermaelen, Mascherano; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Neymar, Suarez, Messi
- Atletico are undefeated in 36 of their last 38 home matches in La Liga.
- Barcelona have won 10 of their last 11 away matches in La Liga.
- Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in 8 of their last 9 matches in La Liga.
- Barcelona have won 4 off their last 5 games at the Vicente Calderon
Player to watch out for
Suarez was at Barcelona while his teammates were away playing for the national side. The Uruguayan was serving the ban that was slapped on him by FIFA for biting Chiellini in the World Cup 2014. Knowing the feisty Uruguayan, and as evident from his interview when he once again stated his displeasure on the length of the ban, Atletico Madrid defenders better be on their guard. Luis Suarez will be fired up to channelhis anger at Atletico Madrid’s defence.
Atletico Madrid 1-1 FC Barcelona
The injury problems at Barcelona currently means that they could be exposed by Simeone’s men. Atletico Madrid are the real deal once again, as they were couple of season ago, with Antoine Griezmann ready to step up to fill the void left behind by Diego Costa. A draw is on the cards.