For the first time in recent memory, Atletico Madrid entered last week's La Liga clash with FC Barcelona as favourites. Perhaps not with the bookmakers, but certainly with most La Liga experts, and probably even amongst both sets of fans; yet by the end of the 90 minutes at the Camp Nou they were left licking their wounds as Barça dealt their title hopes a severe blow with a comfortable 3-1 victory. Credit of course has to go to the Blaugrana for such a brilliant performance, but the bottom line is that Atletico Madrid were under pressure, and they wilted.
Yet now, after their defeat the status quo has been restored. FC Barcelona are flying high once more, while Atletico Madrid lurk just behind, waiting to pounce on their mistakes. Once again, it is Atleti who are the underdogs, they aren't tipped to get a result tomorrow -- and you know what? That suits them just fine. Playing without the added pressure, Diego Simeone's side will be raring to make an impression, to atone for that defeat and beat FC Barcelona in their own backyard.
They will be more focused, more disciplined, more dangerous; can FC Barcelona cope and still put them to the sword? If recent displays are anything to go by, we are more than capable of doing so, and we possess the individual quality that Atletico Madrid so desperately crave. Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez; on their day each and every one of our frontline could win this game on their own; Atletico Madrid on the other hand will require a solid performance from their team, the collective, to win. Who are betting on?
Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!
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