Atletico Madrid and Barcelona clash in the derby of LA Liga‘s round 10. Two big rivals who have a pretty turbulent history are coming into this event with only one thing on their mind, and that is to win. Victory here is not important only due to three points but because of the morale and the head-to-head record, which might have a huge impact at the end of the regular part of the season.
Atletico is in solid shape with four wins and a draw over the past five events. They haven’t lost too many games since the season started, and the only defeat came in the Champions League. It was against Bayern Munich on the road, 4-0, but that didn’t leave any trauma on Diego Simeone’s side.
Lately, Atletico’s matches are much more efficient than at the start of the campaign. The past three of four ended with over 2.5 goals, with the same number seeing both sides netting. In the most recent five contests at home, Atletico won four times, scoring at least twice in all of those victories.
The attacking part of the unit is extra-sharp, with Joao Felix, Diego Costa, and Luis Suarez already catching the desired pace and harassing the rival’s defenses. However, the latter two will be out for Saturday’s event, the same as Lucas Torreira, Yannick Carrasco, Hector Herrera, and Stefan Savic. We might say that half of Atletico’s starting lineup is unavailable, and that is a massive problem for Simeone.
Barcelona doesn’t have that kind of problem, with only Ansu Fati and Umtiti being out. Blaugrana bounced back following a loss in El Clasico, defeating Juventus 0-2 in Turin, but immediately after disappointing their fans with just 1-1 against Alaves. The last two games before the break ended with them beating Dynamo Kyiv and Betis but allowing both goals.
It means that Barcelona’s defense couldn’t keep a clean sheet in five of the last six contests they played. For a team of their ambitions, that is way too much.
When playing on the road, the Catalonians have mixed results, but one data is very valuable here. Three of the previous four road trips saw both sides not scoring, and that might be useful. Barca’s record was two wins with one loss and draw each.
Head to Head Matches
The two sides played 228 games, and Barcelona has a much better record. They have 114 wins, Atletico 76, and 38 matches ended without winners.
In 2019/20, these sides met three times, and the overall record was neutral. Atletico lost at home, 0-1, then defeated Barca in the Super Cup, 3-2, with the last match concluding with a draw, 2-2 at Camp Nou.
We are going with Barcelona here because this is the perfect opportunity for them to exploit Atletico’s injury problems and post a big win that would boost their morale. Defeating Atletico in Madrid, regardless of the lineup, is always a big deal, and we are pretty sure that Ronald Koeman knows that.
Savic is the key player in the defense, Suarez and Costa’s absence will slow down the attack, and the midfield too is devastated with injuries. It simply forces us to bet on Barcelona’s victory here. Odds on that at BetXChange are at 1.37.