Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid predictions and betting tips for the La Liga fixture on Saturday evening. The home side can take a huge step towards another league title with victory over nearest challengers Atleti.
Barca scored two goals in the last minute against Villarreal in midweek to secure a last-gasp point.
They’re currently eight points clear of this weekend’s opponents, who won 2-0 against Girona.
A win for the Blaugrana will all but guarantee a fourth La Liga trophy in five years.
With eight league matches left in the Spanish top flight, Barcelona once again find themselves in poll position to land a second successive La Liga trophy. Atleti can scarcely afford t0 lose this one if they are to retain their already slender hopes of winning a first league title since 2014 – particularly with city rivals Real Madrid breathing down their necks.
These two drew 1-1 in the capital in November in a typically tight affair, but I’m expecting there to be a bit of daylight between them come full-time here. The pressure is off Barca, to an extent anyway, and even though a draw would still be a decent result for them I reckon they’ll go one better. While scoring goals is far never an issue, their defence is far from infallible – making a home win with both teams scoring the outstanding bet.
Barcelona to win – 5/6
Draw – 16/5
Atletico to win – 4/1
Leo Messi rightly gets the plaudits at Barcelona and no-one can really question the legitimacy of that, but that has probably taken the spotlight off another man who has also routinely contributed in the final third since arriving at the club five years ago. I am of course talking about Luis Suarez, who is second only to club-mate Messi in the race for the fabled Pichici trophy – which Suarez actually won during the 2015-16 season.
The feisty Uruguayan scored a wonderful equaliser for his club in midweek and would doubtless love a repeat of that scenario when Atletico make the trip up north. Considering Suarez’s incredible goal to game ratio in the red and blue shirt, it’s difficult to ever discount him as a viable anytime scorer option. But when you can get even money on him bagging at some stage, it’s virtually impossible to ignore.
If there are two things you can probably expect to see when Barcelona play, it’s that they will both score and concede. Despite their brilliance across the park, the Catalan giants have shipped more goals this season than the likes of Atletico, Getafe and Valencia, which proves where their strengths lie.
Granted, that won’t come as a revelation to many, but it’s worthy remembering when trying to select a viable correct score. Antoine Griezmann netted for the first time in seven outings in midweek and will be keen to continue in that vein. Barca, we can be almost certain, will spend the majority of the match in their opponents’ half – and I expect that to translate into goals earlier rather than later. A 3-1 home win looks plausible, and that’s where my money will go.