Barcelona v Atletico Madrid: Exciting clash expected as in form Atleti look to close gap

Barcelona v Atletico Madrid: Exciting clash expected as in form Atleti look to close gap

March 3, 2018 Off By Ben MacDonald

All eyes will be on the Nou Camp on Sunday afternoon as leaders Barcelona welcome a second placed Atletico Madrid side who are showing no signs of slowing down.

Ernesto Valverde’s side go in to the top of the table clash after a shock draw away to Las Palmas on Thursday, with a Jonathan Calleri penalty cancelling out an unstoppable free kick from Lionel Messi.

The draw in Gran Canaria was Barca’s third in the last five games, with convincing wins against Girona and Eibar ensuring they remain undefeated in the league.

Nelson Semedo will definitely miss this weekend’s match, and is expected to be out for the next five weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in the 6-1 win against Girona. He joins Sergi Samper on the side-lines with the midfielder still ruled out with an ankle ligament injury. Jordi Alba returns to the side following a suspension.

Atleti closed the gap between the two sides to five points following a 4-0 win on Wednesday against Leganes. Antoine Griezmann scored all four goals in the game, and following a hat trick in the 5-2 win against Sevilla last weekend, Los Colchoneros will be hoping that the Frenchman continues his clinical form in front of goal.

WHY NOT READ:   Why current La Liga season debunks myth of superior Premier League?

Diego Simeone’s men have only lost one match this season, against Espanyol in December, and are the only team with any realistic chance of stopping Barcelona regaining their crown as La Liga champions.

Lucas Hernandez and Stefan Savic both remain unavailable for the visitors, with neither defender being able to shake off their respective thigh and hamstring injuries in time.