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Preview: Barcelona vs. Atletico MadridPreview: Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid

Author Topic: Preview: Barcelona vs. Atletico MadridPreview: Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid  (Read 288 times)

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Offline Emisphere

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Defending champions Barcelona will continue their quest to become the first team to retain the Champions League trophy when they welcome La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid to the Camp Nou for the first leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday night.
Six points separate the two sides in the
La Liga table , but both have made it all the way to the final of this competition in recent years and have desires to do so again this time around.Defending champions Barcelona will continue their quest to become the first team to retain the Champions League trophy when they welcome La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid to the Camp Nou for the first leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday night.
Six points separate the two sides in the
La Liga table , but both have made it all the way to the final of this competition in recent years and have desires to do so again this time around.so again so again.Their form this season has done little to suggest that they will fall foul to the curse of the defending champions, with Barcelona seemingly on course for an unprecedented second consecutive treble.
They lead Atletico by six points in La Liga and have already booked their spot in the Copa del Rey final, so the biggest remaining question mark lies in Europe.
Atletico are certainly not the easiest draw that Barcelona could have got, and their confidence may be shaken a little following their 2-1 defeat in El Clasico on Saturday.
Gerard Pique gave his side the lead at the Camp Nou against their bitter rivals, but goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Real Madrid come from behind to win despite seeing Sergio Ramos sent off.
While it was only a relatively minor dent in Barca's domestic title hopes, the defeat did end their Spanish-record 39-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, and Luis Enrique will be desperate to get another up and running against the other Madrid powerhouse on Tuesday.
The Clasico defeat may well have damaged the air of invincibility that Barca had built up, though. The Catalan giants had won 11 consecutive matches at the Camp Nou before that defeat, and had only failed to win in front of their own fans once all season, winning 22 and drawing one of their other 23 home outings.
It was their first defeat at the Camp Nou for almost 14 months in any competition and was the first time they had lost a match home or away since October.
There are all sorts of statistics that could pay homage to the scintillating form that Barca have been in over the majority of the season, though, and that form continues in the Champions League, where they have lost just one of their last 19 matches and are one of only two teams, alongside Real Madrid, to still be unbeaten in this season's competition.Their form this season has done little to suggest that they will fall foul to the curse of the defending champions, with Barcelona seemingly on course for an unprecedented second consecutive treble.
They lead Atletico by six points in La Liga and have already booked their spot in the Copa del Rey final, so the biggest remaining question mark lies in Europe.
Atletico are certainly not the easiest draw that Barcelona could have got, and their confidence may be shaken a little following their 2-1 defeat in El Clasico on Saturday.
Gerard Pique gave his side the lead at the Camp Nou against their bitter rivals, but goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Real Madrid come from behind to win despite seeing Sergio Ramos sent off.
While it was only a relatively minor dent in Barca's domestic title hopes, the defeat did end their Spanish-record 39-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, and Luis Enrique will be desperate to get another up and running against the other Madrid powerhouse on Tuesday.
The Clasico defeat may well have damaged the air of invincibility that Barca had built up, though. The Catalan giants had won 11 consecutive matches at the Camp Nou before that defeat, and had only failed to win in front of their own fans once all season, winning 22 and drawing one of their other 23 home outings.
It was their first defeat at the Camp Nou for almost 14 months in any competition and was the first time they had lost a match home or away since October.
There are all sorts of statistics that could pay homage to the scintillating form that Barca have been in over the majority of the season, though, and that form continues in the Champions League, where they have lost just one of their last 19 matches and are one of only two teams, alongside Real Madrid, to still be unbeaten in this season's competition.The Blaugrana cruised past Arsenal with a 5-1 aggregate victory in the last 16 to reach a record ninth consecutive quarter-final, and they have only ever been beaten at this stage three times before, compared to 14 victories.
Not since Atletico last visited in this competition at the same stage of the 2013-14 season have Barcelona been denied a home Champions League victory, winning 10 matches in a row and scoring 27 goals in the process.
Their unbeaten home record in this competition stretches back to 15 games since May 2013, with Atletico the only visiting side in that time to have avoided defeat.
Recent form: WWWDWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWDLThe Blaugrana cruised past Arsenal with a 5-1 aggregate victory in the last 16 to reach a record ninth consecutive quarter-final, and they have only ever been beaten at this stage three times before, compared to 14 victories.
Not since Atletico last visited in this competition at the same stage of the 2013-14 season have Barcelona been denied a home Champions League victory, winning 10 matches in a row and scoring 27 goals in the process.
Their unbeaten home record in this competition stretches back to 15 games since May 2013, with Atletico the only visiting side in that time to have avoided defeat.
Recent form: WWWDWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWDL

Athletico
When Barcelona's name was drawn out of the hat for the quarter-finals, there are many at Atletico who would have had a feeling of deja-vu.
This is the third straight season that Atleti have reached this stage of the competition, and on each occasion they have been drawn against Spanish opposition.
They fell to Real Madrid 12 months ago, but got the better of Barca the year before that to join an elite group that includes Paris Saint-Germain (1994-95) and Juventus (2002-03) as teams to have knocked the Catalan giants out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.
Atletico, of course, went all the way to the final on that occasion only to fall to more Spanish opposition in the form of Real, but memories of their La Liga title-clinching draw at the Camp Nou on the final day of their domestic season that year could come flooding back with Tuesday's visit.
Their recent record against Luis Enrique's men is not as impressive, but domestically they are once again in the title race, with a 5-1 drubbing of Real Betis on Saturday seeing them gain ground on the leaders.
It remains a tall order to bridge the six-point gap to Barcelona, but with only 15 goals conceded from their 31 league outings so far this season, it is unlikely that Atletico themselves will slip up much before the end of the campaign.
Their defensive record in the Champions League is impressive too, with six clean sheets from their eight matches, but their overall form in the competition this term has not been entirely convincing.
Diego Simeone watched his side drop points to Benfica and Astana in the group stages, while they needed penalties to see off PSV Eindhoven in the last 16 having played out two stalemates against the Eredivisie outfit.
They have only managed two wins from their last seven away Champions League games too, although the fact that they have conceded just three goals in that time could prove to be important at the Camp Nou.
They picked up a 1-1 draw in the away leg against Barcelona two years ago, and Simeone would be delighted with another draw this time around to take back to the Vicente Calderon for next week's return leg.
Recent form: WDWWDD
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDLWWhen Barcelona's name was drawn out of the hat for the quarter-finals, there are many at Atletico who would have had a feeling of deja-vu.
This is the third straight season that Atleti have reached this stage of the competition, and on each occasion they have been drawn against Spanish opposition.
They fell to Real Madrid 12 months ago, but got the better of Barca the year before that to join an elite group that includes Paris Saint-Germain (1994-95) and Juventus (2002-03) as teams to have knocked the Catalan giants out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.
Atletico, of course, went all the way to the final on that occasion only to fall to more Spanish opposition in the form of Real, but memories of their La Liga title-clinching draw at the Camp Nou on the final day of their domestic season that year could come flooding back with Tuesday's visit.
Their recent record against Luis Enrique's men is not as impressive, but domestically they are once again in the title race, with a 5-1 drubbing of Real Betis on Saturday seeing them gain ground on the leaders.
It remains a tall order to bridge the six-point gap to Barcelona, but with only 15 goals conceded from their 31 league outings so far this season, it is unlikely that Atletico themselves will slip up much before the end of the campaign.
Their defensive record in the Champions League is impressive too, with six clean sheets from their eight matches, but their overall form in the competition this term has not been entirely convincing.
Diego Simeone watched his side drop points to Benfica and Astana in the group stages, while they needed penalties to see off PSV Eindhoven in the last 16 having played out two stalemates against the Eredivisie outfit.
They have only managed two wins from their last seven away Champions League games too, although the fact that they have conceded just three goals in that time could prove to be important at the Camp Nou.
They picked up a 1-1 draw in the away leg against Barcelona two years ago, and Simeone would be delighted with another draw this time around to take back to the Vicente Calderon for next week's return leg.
Recent form: WDWWDD
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDLW.

Team news


It will be all eyes on Lionel Messi on Tuesday as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner goes in search of his 500th senior career goal.
The Argentine talisman is currently on 499, 25 of which have come against Atletico Madrid - no player has ever scored more against Los Rojiblancos.
The front three of Messi, Neymar and
Luis Suarez have already registered 107 goals between them in all competitions this season, and the trio are expected to start once again on Tuesday.
Barcelona will be without Aleix Vidal for the match, though, as he joins
Adriano , Jeremy Mathieu and Sandro Ramirez in the treatment room.
Atletico have concerns of their own, not least with centre-backs Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez (both hamstring).
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Saul Niguez (both ankle), Jesus Gamez (calf) and
Oliver Torres (groin) are also doubts, while Tiago (leg) and Lucas Hernandez (back) are unlikely to feature.
The visitors will be hoping that Antoine Griezmann keeps up the same sort of form that has seen him score in eight of his last nine appearances for club and country.
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Atletico possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Juanfran, Monslave, Gimenez, Luis; Gabi, Fernandez, Saul, Koke; Griezmann, Torres
Head To Head
Barcelona have dominated the recent history between these two sides, winning each of the last six, and another victory on Tuesday would make it seven in a row for the first time in the history of the fixture.
Atletico's last win over Barca came in the second leg of their quarter-final meeting in this competition two years ago, when Simeone's side went through 2-1 on aggregate in the only previous European tie between the two sides.
Barca won both league meetings this season by a 2-1 scoreline, including an ill-tempered affair in January that saw Atletico end the match with only nine men.
Barca's record in two-legged ties against La Liga opposition is not particularly impressive, though, with just four wins and six defeats from 10 ties, and only one clean sheet in 12 Champions League/European Cup games against fellow Spanish sides.
Atletico, meanwhile, have won seven and lost six of 17 European matches against teams from the same country, but have never scored more than a single goal in the eight of those matches to have taken place in Europe's elite competition.It will be all eyes on Lionel Messi on Tuesday as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner goes in search of his 500th senior career goal.
The Argentine talisman is currently on 499, 25 of which have come against Atletico Madrid - no player has ever scored more against Los Rojiblancos.
The front three of Messi, Neymar and
Luis Suarez have already registered 107 goals between them in all competitions this season, and the trio are expected to start once again on Tuesday.
Barcelona will be without Aleix Vidal for the match, though, as he joins
Adriano , Jeremy Mathieu and Sandro Ramirez in the treatment room.
Atletico have concerns of their own, not least with centre-backs Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez (both hamstring).
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Saul Niguez (both ankle), Jesus Gamez (calf) and
Oliver Torres (groin) are also doubts, while Tiago (leg) and Lucas Hernandez (back) are unlikely to feature.
The visitors will be hoping that Antoine Griezmann keeps up the same sort of form that has seen him score in eight of his last nine appearances for club and country.
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Atletico possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Juanfran, Monslave, Gimenez, Luis; Gabi, Fernandez, Saul, Koke; Griezmann, Torres
Head To Head
Barcelona have dominated the recent history between these two sides, winning each of the last six, and another victory on Tuesday would make it seven in a row for the first time in the history of the fixture.
Atletico's last win over Barca came in the second leg of their quarter-final meeting in this competition two years ago, when Simeone's side went through 2-1 on aggregate in the only previous European tie between the two sides.
Barca won both league meetings this season by a 2-1 scoreline, including an ill-tempered affair in January that saw Atletico end the match with only nine men.
Barca's record in two-legged ties against La Liga opposition is not particularly impressive, though, with just four wins and six defeats from 10 ties, and only one clean sheet in 12 Champions League/European Cup games against fellow Spanish sides.
Atletico, meanwhile, have won seven and lost six of 17 European matches against teams from the same country, but have never scored more than a single goal in the eight of those matches to have taken place in Europe's elite competition.





 


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