Luis Enrique’s men will definitely keep no stones unturned in order to keep their heads up high in the race for all the three major titles. Atletico Madrid is the only remaining tough opponent for the Catalan side in this competition now and the same applies the other way around for the Rojiblancos. With a tough season ahead in the ever present league and the Champion’s league coming next month, both the teams will try to seal a place in the cup semi-final which most likely will prove an easy run towards achieving cup glory.
Barcelona started the year with a disappointing defeat to Real Sociedad but the club has come back on winning ways by winning the next 4 games and scoring a total of 16 goals since then. This incredible run includes a 3-1 home victory against Atletico itself. Goals were scored by Neymar, Messi and Suarez. Also Lionel Messi scored his 30th hat trick for Barcelona in the last game against Deportivo. With a league game against poor Elche this weekend, Enrique might not hesitate risking his first team in the important home clash tonight.
Atletico comes on the backing of a tremendous display against Granada in the last league game. Torres and Mandzukic have displayed some tremendous chemistry in that game and will be a reason for worry for a struggling Barcelona defense. Torres single-handedly knocked out their Capital rivals in the last round of the Copa and Torres who is known to have a fabulous record at Camp Nou will definitely try to capitalize on lose chances.
Atletico have shown tremendous resilience throughout the season and are in the race for the top 3 this season as the title chances are seeming bleak. Their only realistic chance for silverware this season is the Copa. After the addition of Torres there is a positive atmosphere in the team as is evident from the public statements of Diego Simeone. The team is gelling together well and the understanding among the team is rising. The away game will be a perfect platform to avenge the defeat of a fortnight ago and to seal the fixture with some away goals.
On the other hand, the South American frontline of Barcelona is seeming in the form of their lives and is capable of pinning back the entire Atletico team into their own half. Another positive for Barca is the fact that Xavi is back into the squad after recovering from a calf injury. Mathieu however will be missing the game as he hasn’t recovered yet. Enrique believes in the ‘still missing’ goal scoring abilities of Suarez.
“The goals will come because he is a goal scorer and has shown that throughout his career.”
Both the teams face each other at the Camp Nou with a lot of positives to back upon along with a lot of threats and weaknesses to be vary of. It will without doubt be an intense encounter.
MATCH DATE: 21st January, 2015
ter Stegen, Alves, Pique,Bartra, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Suarez, Neymar, , Messi
Atletico De Madrid:
Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Siqueira, Mario Suarez, Arda, Koke, Griezmann, Mandzukic, Torres
Barcelona 1 : Atletico Madrid 0