PRICE BOOSTS MAX BET £10
In what is one of the most crucial La Liga games in recent memory, Barcelona host table toppers Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou, knowing three points here could see them leapfrog their opponents to the top, though Real Madrid could also finish the weekend in top spot if they were to beat Sevilla on Sunday night.
This is only the second time this century that teams within three points of each other have faced off within the last four games of a La Liga season, the other being this exact fixture seven years ago, when Atletico Madrid earned a draw here on the final day to lift the title, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see the same happen again.
Indeed, Los Rojiblancos have become one of the hardest teams to beat under Diego Simeone, with this season proving no different as they’ve lost on just four occasions in the league and this is exactly the kind of game we’d expect him to grind a result out in.
Due to the nature of La Liga’s tie-breaking system, a draw here would give a massive advantage to Atleti as they would lead the Catalans in the head-to-heads so we’d expect them to play for that outcome.
Barcelona And Atletico To Draw
Ronald Koeman’s side will certainly be going all out to win this and overtake their opponents in the race, and there’s no doubt that Lionel Messi will be instrumental in that.
The Argentine has shown no signs of slowing down this year and has 26 goals in as many games in 2021 across all competitions, and his combination with Antoine Griezmann has been crucial in this recent run of games with the pair picking up 12 goals across the last five outings for their side.
Barca are on a strong run of 11 wins from 13 matches domestically and will certainly take some beating here on home soil, though the Camp Nou hasn’t had as menacing a feel to it for visiting sides when fans aren’t present in the ground and we’d expect Atletico to go into this without reservation.
The lack of Ansu Fati and Phillipe Coutinho somewhat limits the hosts forward options, though with Messi and Griezmann in the form they’re in, we wouldn’t expect the visitors to keep a clean sheet.
All things considered; a draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either side. It would maintain Atletico’s two-point gap over the Catalans and although it would mean Real Madrid would go top with a win, Los Blancos have a tough run in.
For Barca, a draw would keep them in touching distance before heading into a run of three extremely winnable games, and they may just take a point when push comes to shove and avoid what would be a nail in the coffin defeat.