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Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid: Keys To The Game

A few things to keep in mind while watching the big game tomorrow

David Ramos/Getty Images

With FC Barcelona set to take on Atlético Madrid in Round 18 of La Liga, here's a few key storylines and things to keep in mind while watching the game tomorrow:

Farewell Lucho?

According to a variety of sources, this is the last game with Luis Enrique as a manager for Barça this season. He has had problems with many players so far, but his beef with Lionel Messi stands out as the most problematic. Sources told Barça Blaugranes that Lucho is leaving no matter what, but perhaps he can change the president's mind with a good tactical match tomorrow. He has a difficult task in that respect, since Diego Simeone is one of the best coaches in the world. But if Enrique can get the better of the matchup, maybe he's going to earn a little more time on the bench.

Messi to Break the Atleti Curse?

It has been a looooooooong time since Messi has scored against Atlético, which used to be one of his favorite opponents. Since Diego Simeone took over, he has figured out a way to stop Leo and force the Blaugrana to find someone else to hurt them. Granted, Messi wasn't at his best in many of those matches. Right now, though, he's unstoppable, and his momentum might lead him to finally break the curse against the Colchoneros and find the net on Sunday. A brace would be nice.

Please stop Mandzukic!

Mario Mandzukic has been one of the best stories of the season. After being snubbed by Pep Guardiola as he was replaced by Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, Mandzukic got to Atleti with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He had to prove he's still a great scorer. With 14 goals in 20 appearances, he has done just that. Mandz is a threat both on the ground and on set pieces, and he's going to be a major cause of concern for Barça's defense. He demands attention at all times, and he doesn't need a lot of opportunities to score. Keep any eye on him.

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