Atletico Madrid – Barcelona
Atletico Madrid hosts Barcelona in the big derby of the 24th round of the Spanish La Liga. The game will be played at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid on Sunday.
Barcelona still remain in the the battle for La Liga, especially after the current leader Real Madrid lost its visit to Valencia during the week. The Catalans are just one point behind the Los Blancos, although Real Madrid still have a game in hand.
Atletico Madrid on the other hand are 7 points behind the leader, so they need to win this game, if they want to keep even a slight chance for something more this season.
Both teams won their last three games in La Liga, although they were not always as convincing as they would probably want. Barcelona’s manager Luis Enrique is put under a serious pressure after his team was battered by PSG in the Champions League. Now it looks almost certain that Enrique is going to leave the club after the end of the season.
This could be the last season for Diego Simeone in Atletico Madrid as well. There are rumours that the Argentine manager will look for a new challenge in the summer. So, this is basically a clash between two managers who could be on their way out after the end of the campaign.
Atleitco Madrid will be without the injured Juanfran, Bernabe and Augusto Fernandez, while Diego Godin and Tiago remain doubtful because of injuries.
Barcelona can’t rely on Javier Mascherano and Aleix Vidal, while Rafinha and Arda Turan are doubtful for the clash.
This is important game for both teams, if they want to remain in the battle for the title. For Atletico the more realistic goal is probably a qualification for the Champion League, but Barca are still in a good position to defend their title.