La Liga: Barcelona Vs Atletico Madrid – Match preview

La Liga: Barcelona Vs Atletico Madrid – Match preview

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04 Feb 2022
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Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid

A selection of winter reinforcements were signed to push Barcelona back into Champions League contention and a win here would see them leapfrog Atletico into one of the coveted positions.

Barcelona

Barcelona are in the midst of their joint-best unbeaten league run this season, though the prior six-game streak was swiftly brought to a halt by a 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid, a result which made it three straight La Liga H2Hs without a goal for Barca! As manager Xavi Hernández gets ready for his first La Liga H2H in the dug-out, he’ll be looking to avoid emulating Frank Rijkaard who was in charge when Atletico last did the season double over the Catalans in 2005/06. A selection of winter reinforcements were signed to push Barcelona back into Champions League contention and a win here would see them leapfrog Atletico into one of the coveted positions.

 

They’ll have to improve their recent five-game La Liga home form, where both wins were achieved by a narrow one-goal margin, though history indicates success for Barca, as they’ve not lost a home La Liga H2H since February 2006!

Atletico Madrid

Atlético followed a four-game La Liga losing streak with a three-game unbeaten league run in January, improving the mood of manager Diego Simeone who needs just one more La Liga victory (235) to surpass former legendary Barça coach Ferdinand Daucik for most top-flight wins by a non-Spanish manager. Looking to record consecutive league wins for only the third time this campaign, Atlético still have defensive frailties to address, having conceded the most goals across their opening 21 La Liga games since 2011/12. That’ll be easier said than done though, as ‘Los Colchoneros’ have now taken just one point across four La Liga away outings with the match-opener coming in the first 20 minutes on each occasion.

 

Both of Frenkie de Jong’s league goals this season have been match-opening strikes, including in his side’s last La Liga outing. Contrastingly, Joao Felix has scored Atletico’s last goal with both his La Liga strikes this season. The away team on the day hasn’t scored before half-time in 16 of the last 18 La Liga H2Hs.

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