La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid by Emmagency9
on: 24 Sep 11, 07:48 PM (4 years ago) Gistmaniac (m)
Gregorio Manzano brings his new-look and in-form side to Camp Nou just a point behind the champions in the Primera Division table
Barcelona (4-1-2-3): Valdes; Alves, Mascerano, Puyol, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Thiago; Messi, Fabregas, Villa
Barca centre-back Gerard Pique is back in full training following his calf injury and after the defensive frailties against Valencia, it is touch and go as to whether the Spaniard will make the starting XI. Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta are still sidelined with hamstring injuries. Meanwhile, Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay damaged his cruciate knee ligament in training and will miss an estimated six months of the season.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Coutois; Silva, Perea, Dominguez, Filipe; Koke, Assuncao, Gabi, Turan; Salvio, Falcao
Atletico Madrid are still sweating over the fitness of Diego, who completed light training on Thursday but it is unsure whether the Brazilian will feature against the champions. However, the Madrid outfit have been boosted by the return of Diego Godin, who has recovered from his injury and is expected to make the squad against Barcelona.
DID YOU KNOW?
In their last four meetings at Camp Nou in La Liga, Barcelona have scored 17 times against Atletico Madrid, conceding just three in reply.
Cesc Fabregas has already had more assists in this season (four) than Andres Iniesta accumulated in the whole of 2010-2011 (three).
Expect goals in this encounter, as both Barca and Atletico netted over 2.5 goals in 24 of their 38 league games last season, a 63 per cent success rate.
Atletico Madrid's last victory at Camp Nou was in December 2006, where they emerged as 3-1 victors.
Atletico have won their last two league games 4-0 at home, against Racing and Sporting Gijon, with Radamel Falcao netting five times.
Indeed, this match showcases La Liga's two leading goalscorers, Falcao and Lionel Messi, who along with Roberto Soldado have netted five goals in four matches.