Atlético Madrid (4th, 14pts) vs FC Barcelona (7th, 12pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Friday
Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 8
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Pedri, Sergio Agüero, Ousmane Dembélé, Martin Braithwaite (out)
Atlético Outs & Doubts: Matheus Cunha (out)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 2, 2021, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeira), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Sunday)
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Referee: César Soto Grado
VAR: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), TSN 5 (Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), MTV (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
Following a truly depressing Champions League loss to Benfica in midweek, Barcelona return to action for the final match before the October international break as the Blaugrana face defending La Liga champions Atlético Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
These are truly tough times, and the loss in Lisbon was another painful reminder of how far this club continues to fall. Ronald Koeman has no excuses left and is absolutely on his way out, and all of the reporting seems to indicate that the Atlético game will be in his last in charge.
But Koeman won’t be in charge as he’ll serve the second of a two-game suspension, so his main assistant Alfred Schreuder will be on the sidelines. Considering how well Barça played against Levante with him as the acting coach last week, we might actually have some hopes to pull off the upset at the home of the champs.
Yes, a Barça win against Diego Simeone’s Colchoneros would absolutely be an upset these days. Despite their strange start to the season with plenty of victories but some really mediocre football most of the time, Atlético have the better squad and the better coach, and Antoine Griezmann will certainly be hungry to score against his former teammates in his first game against Barça since leaving the club a month ago.
Oh, and Luis Suárez is also there. And a great midfield. And a full stadium for the first time this season with one of the most hostile crowds in Europe. Not very encouraging.
Let’s dance, I guess?
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Piqué, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, F. De Jong; Coutinho, L. De Jong, Memphis
Atlético (3-5-2): Oblak; Savic, Giménez, Hermoso; Trippier, Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Griezmann, Suárez
We all know Suárez and Griezmann are scoring against us, right? 3-2 Atlético, and goodbye Koeman.