Atlético Madrid (3rd, 23pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 24pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Friday
Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 13
Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Thomas Vermaelen, Sergi Samper, Denis Suarez (out)
Atlético Outs and Doubts: Diego Godín, Juanfran (out), José Giménez (doubt)
Date/Time: Saturday, November 24, 2018, 8.45pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 7.45pm GMT (UK), 2.45pm ET, 11.4am PT (USA), 1.15am IST (India, Sunday)
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others
After what felt like three years of the last international break of 2018, Barcelona football is back! The La Liga leaders return to action with what might just be their toughest test of the season so far, a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano to face Atlético Madrid and Diego Simeone, which is never, ever, ever, fun.
To be fair, Atlético are not having a great season, with inconsistent performances and very few goals scored when you think about the insane attacking talent they have, but they are still just one point behind Barça in the table and very much in the title race. Antoine Griezmann loves scoring against Barça, Diego Costa is a demon, and a Simeone defense will always be tough to crack.
And after the terrible performance and loss to Real Betis two weeks ago, thinks aren’t great in the Barça camp right now going into this game. The best way to respond to all the negativity is to arrive at the Wanda, play well, win and go home. Can Valverde and his men do it? We’ll find out.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Malcom
Atlético (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Savic, Hernández, Filipe Luis; Koke, Rodri, Saúl, Lemar; Griezmann, Diego Costa
There’s only one result on my mind since I started thinking about this game: 1-1 draw. Just seems like the obvious outcome here.