This is a crucial match-up for both teams. Real Madrid head the table of the Liga with 52 points, Barcelona come 2nd with 51 and Atlético Madrid 3rd with 49. The team that loses gets further away from the title, while a draw will get them both at a disadvantage against Real. This translates to both teams being forced to come out and give it all they’ve got for a win. I.e. we can expect a real battle and a game filled with excitement and nail biting action!
There is a lot of aspects that can influence the outcome this time! Barcelona faced Atlético Madrid for the Copa Del Rey on February 1st and got the victory by 2-1. For the Rojiblancos, this is a strong motive to get even. Even more so as it would seem that Barcelona is not going through the best phase of the current season after the defeat for the Champions League they suffered on Valentine’s day at the hands of PSG with the humiliating 4-0! This was certainly a result not expected even by the most devout of PSG fans and one that can seriously rock Barcelona’s boat.
On the other hand the same result may force Barcelona to close ranks and get filled with resolution. The fact that Atlético Madrid played a midweek Champions League game against Bayern Leverkusen may bring out the notion that Barcelona will have more time to prepare and their players will be more rested for the trip to Vicente Calderón. However, the same fact can work in Atletico’s favor as their players will be in rhythm. Not to mention that in modern football, players are in such a great physical condition that midweek games do not really play that much of a role.
Of greater importance may be the timely return of Tiago Mendes and Diego Godin. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Barnabé, Juanfran and Augusto Matias Fernandez who are only expected to recover in March. Out of the injury list comes Marc Cardona for the Blaugrana who has already joined his team mates in the training sessions. However, it is doubtful that José Carlos Ramirez, Rafa Navarro and Ryan Donk will make it out of the injury list. Barcelona also cannot count on Matías Nahuel Leiva who is out on suspension.
This is a confrontation that can decide the entire course of La Liga for this season. Are you going to stay on the sidelines or are you going to be a part of it and support your favorite team to win?
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