It’s not surprise that losing Lionel Messi was going to be tough for Barcelona, but it has been worse than expected. A lot will be on the line for Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid on Saturday at Wanda Metropolitano, including the possibility of manager Ronald Koeman’s job.
On the other hand, Atletico Madrid’s confidence is up to the roof after a thrilling midweek victory at San Siro. It could contribute to Barcelona’s crisis while also putting a five-point gap between the two.
I think it’s fair to say it will be an epic battle. Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and soccer lines for Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona.
Game: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Location: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Time: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET
TV: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV
La Liga Betting Lines
|Atletico Madrid||-½ -105||-105||2½ Evo||1½ +110o/-140u|
|Barcelona||+½ -115||+310||2½ -120u||½ -225o/+180u|
Head to Head
- Previous Matches: 215
- Atletico Madrid: 68 (317 goals)
- Barcelona Victories: 95 (399 goals)
- Draws: 52
The last time they met, the game was at Camp Nou and finished with a goalless draw. The last time they met at Wanda Metropolitano, the home side won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Yannick Carrasco.
Barcelona won five of its last 10 meetings with Atletico. Curiously enough, because we’re talking about two powerhouses, the total went under in nine of those 10 games. This time both sides have to go all-in, especially Barca, so I expect a different outcome regarding the total.
Fear Atletico’s New Dynamic Duo
It’s not a secret that manager Diego Simeone prioritizes defense over offense. Atletico Madrid is well known for playing on the counter-attack and now has more reasons to keep doing it.
Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez scored in the same game for the first time last Tuesday. They did it against AC Milan, at San Siro, during the last 10 minutes of the game. Last season, Suarez scored 21 goals while Griezmann had 13 in La Liga. With both on the same page, Atletico can become unstoppable.
Beating AC Milan gave Atletico a much-needed boost of confidence. They lost their last La Liga game 1-0 to Deportivo Alaves and can’t afford to lose again. Otherwise, Real Madrid could get six points ahead of them.
Simeone has the best roster he has ever had as Atletico’s manager. It’s so good that Griezmann, Rodrigo De Paul and Joao Felix came off the bench against AC Milan. The team remains unbeaten at home with a 1-2-0 record, 0-3 against the spread and 1-2 over/under. If they want to revalidate the title, they need to transform Wanda Metropolitano into a fortress.
Atletico’s betting online favoritism was never in doubt, but recent events made them go from a plus price to -105. Another huge factor is that only Thomas Lemar appears on the injury list. They don’t need him to remain competitive.
Their expected lineup is Jan Oblak; Kieran Trippier, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Jose Maria Gimenez, Renan Lodi; Marcos Llorente, Rodrigo de Paul, Koke, Angel Correa; Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez.
Youngsters to the Rescue
After losing 3-0 to Benfica, I know it’s hard to consider including Barcelona in your soccer picks. However, not everything is bad news. Barcelona probably has the best young core in the league, but it just needs proper guidance.
Eric Garcia, Sergino Dest, Nico Gonzalez, Pablo Gavira, Riqui Puig, Pedri and Ansu Fati are 22 years old or younger. Fati inherited No. 10 from Messi and already scored after a long absence due to injury. Gavi only has two games as a starter, but he already got a chance to play for Spain’s national team. You can’t underestimate the energy and conviction of highly motivated young players.
All of them have to carry the load, at least for now, and they’re talented enough to do it. Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Aguero and Jordi Alba aren’t expected to return until mid-October.
Barca’s situation in La Liga isn’t that bad, but they’ve suffered more than expected. They sit in sixth place with 12 points thanks to a 3-3-0 record. They’re five points behind Real Madrid, but they’ve played one game less.
Defensively, they’ve allowed one goal less than Atletico Madrid. Having goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is great for their confidence, but he needs more time to get back into shape.
As I mentioned before, Koeman’s job will be on the line. If the players care at all about him, they’ll give their best. If not, Barca’s board of directors already has a list of potential candidates to replace him. All those doubts shifted Barca’s line from +280 to +310.
Their expected lineup is Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Clement Lenglet; Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati; Luuk de Jong.
Final Analysis, Predictions
I know it seems like Atletico Madrid should crush Barcelona. However, I expect a close one. All Atletico’s victories have been by one goal, and I do believe Barca is much better than its midweek performance.
Don’t get me wrong, Atletico deserve to be the favorite and you should go with them, but Barca will put up a fight. I also like Atletico to win because, for Suarez and Griezmann, this game is a personal matter.
Don’t forget to check the props our sportsbook is offering for this and other games to increase your winning chances. Our score prediction is offering a +800 price. Here’s another freebie, go with 12-14 corners at +400. A free or corner kick can be the answer when you’re desperate, just like Barca.
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2, Barcelona 1