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Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid: What to look out for this weekend in La Liga

There’s a big game at Montjuic on Sunday

Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Barcelona enjoyed a good win over Porto in midweek in the Champions League but there’s little time to celebrate with an other big game up next against Atletico.

Both teams sit on 31 points going into the game, albeit Atletico have a game in hand, and there’s plenty to play for if the two clubs are going to fight for the title this season.

Let’s take a look at what to look out for at Montjuic:

Joao Felix has a point to prove against Atletico

Joao Felix can probably expect a hostile reception from Atletico fans as he faces his parent club after a summer where he made it clear he wanted to play for Barca.

The Portugal international is expected to feature, as there’s reportedly no fear clause in his contract, and comes into the game fresh from scoring in the midweek win over Porto.

Felix’s time at Barca so far hasn’t been completely smooth sailing but his latest effort should hopefully provide some momentum ahead of the game with Diego Simeone’s side.

The forward celebrated that goal by clutching the Barca badge on his shirt, and he’s already been warned against a similar gesture on Sunday.

“Joao Felix is ​​a great player, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a good match against us. If he scores, I hope he doesn’t celebrate,” said Enrique Cerezo. “If Joao kisses the Barcelona logo, it’s because he feels the Barcelona colors, otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.”

Xavi’s record against Simeone is impeccable

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Xavi takes on Diego Simeone with an impeccable record against the Atleti boss. Barca have won their last three matches against Atletico in La Liga, all since Xavi took charge of the club.

It’s also worth pointing out that Atletico have a horrible record in Barca. Los Colchoneros have not won on their last 17 visits to the city in La Liga (drawn five, lost 12) - a run that stretches all the way back to February 2006.

There’s no doubt that Simeone must be sick of the sight of Barca. He’s suffered 14 defeats in 23 games against the Catalans during his time on the Atlético bench in LaLiga (W2 D7) which he’ll need no reminding is a record.

The only good news for Simeone’s side is that they are the form team ahead of the match. Sunday’s visitors have won eight of their last nine league games but were beaten on their last away match at Las Palmas.

Will Griezmann return to haunt Barcelona?

Sunday’s match will see Antoine Griezmann come up against his former side, and Barca will need to be wary of the France international as he is playing some great stuff right now.

Griezmann has never scored against Barcelona in La Liga for Atletico in 13 matches and will be eager to end that record. Barca are one of just two teams he has never scored against in La Liga. (Real Mallorca are the only other team in case you were wondering).

The former Barca man is certainly doing the business this season and even seems to have the fans back onside after returning from Camp Nou. Only Jude Bellingham has outscored Griezmann this season, with the Frenchman netting nine times from 13 games in La Liga.

The Frenchman could come up against his compatriot Jules Kounde on Sunday. The duel between the two should be a fascinating battle to watch and one that could help decide where the three points end up.

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