Barcelona v Atlético - more evenly matched than ever!
Xavi and Simeone’s sides are level on points in the LALIGA EA SPORTS standings and will face off in Barcelona this Sunday in a direct title duel.
FC Barcelona v Atlético de Madrid – ELSUPERDUELO – is always a top game, but their upcoming duel promises to be even bigger than usual. The two teams will meet on Sunday at 9pm CET at the Estadi Olímpic and, looking at the standings, the two teams are level on 31 points, although Los Rojiblancos still have a game in hand - their postponed fixture against Sevilla FC.
Besides the fact that the standings are so tight, this Sunday’s match will also be special because it will serve as a chance for some players to take on their former teammates. That is the case for Antoine Griezmann, the Frenchman who played two seasons with this weekend’s opponents before returning home to Atleti, where he is about to break a historic record that will make him a club legend; he’s closing in fast on Luis Aragonés’ 173 goal record.
It will also be a special duel for João Félix, a player who is on loan from Atlético de Madrid at FC Barcelona this season. He is one of the most active players in Xavi Hernandez’s attack, producing 2.96 shots and completing 2.34 dribbles per 90 minutes.
It will also be an interesting tactical duel. Xavi and Diego Simeone clash in their styles, although not in their way of experiencing matches. Both are always on the edge of their technical areas, always giving instructions and sharing their emotions with their players and the fans. In their head-to-head duels so far it’s the Barça coach who has come out on top, having won all three of his clashes against the Argentine.
Simeone, as well as wanting to secure his first victory against Xavi the coach, will be aiming to break a negative streak that Atlético de Madrid have been unable to break out of for almost 20 years. The last time the capital city outfit beat FC Barcelona in the Catalan side’s stadium was in 2005/06, when two goals from Fernando Torres and one from Maxi Rodríguez helped Pepe Murcia’s players defeat Frank Rijkaard’s team, who only scored one goal through Henrik Larsson. Since then, Los Rojiblancos have only managed some draws, even if one secured a league title, and several defeats in Barcelona.
The upcoming ‘SUPERDUELO’ has all the ingredients to be a brilliant match. It’ll be a battle between two teams with ex-players going up against each other, while Griezmann is closing in on a record and Atlético de Madrid are aiming to break their poor run of away results in this fixture. On top of all that, this is a huge game in the LALIGA EA SPORTS title race. Whoever loses could find themselves too far off the pace, while the winner will emerge as a strong contender for the title. It is one of the heavyweight fixtures of every season, and gives fans the chance to enjoy the likes of Marc-André ter Stegen, Jan Oblak, Antoine Griezmann, Robert Lewandowski, Koke and Pedri on the same pitch at the same time.