Atlético Madrid (5th, 25pts) vs FC Barcelona (2nd, 28pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2019-20 La Liga, Matchday 15
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Sergio Busquets, Nélson Semedo, Jordi Alba, Ousmane Dembélé, Jean-Clair Todibo (out)
Atlético Outs & Doubts: José Giménez, Sime Vrsaljko, Stefan Savic, Diego Costa (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 1, 2019, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (oh boy)
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Premier Sports 2 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), Not Available (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
Following an impressive win over Borussia Dortmund to secure a spot in the Champions League Round of 16, Barcelona return to action in La Liga with a very tough match ahead of them: a trip to the Spanish capital to face Atlético Madrid, a game that’s always been incredibly difficult for the Catalan giants.
This is one of the three key league games in December, with a trip to Anoeta to face a red-hot Real Sociedad and El Clásico against Real Madrid still to come. These three games will be crucial for Barça and may decide the title race if the champions aren’t able to get any wins in the away games and lose the Clásico at home.
With the Champions League stuff all taken care of it’s time to take a serious look at La Liga, and a win at Atlético is a serious statement of intent from the two-time defending champs. Antoine Griezmann is making his much-anticipated return to the Wanda Metropolitano, and it’s safe to expect a tough reception for the Frenchman.
It’ll be interesting to see if Barça rally around Griezmann and try to win it for him, and if he manages to have his best performance as a Blaugrana so far against his former club. This is a fascinating and crucial game, and one that will tell us a lot about the strength of this Barça team. Let’s do this, boys.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Firpo; Rakitic, De Jong, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Atlético (4-4-2): Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi; Correa, Thomas, Saúl, Koke; Morata, João Félix
I don’t know why I’m so confident ahead of this one, but I believe in the Law of the Ex and that Griezmann will put on a show and do some weird Fortnite dance: 2-0 Barça.