Saturday’s La Liga action concludes with a blockbuster, heavyweight clash as Atletico Madrid and Barcelona battle it out for the top spot. The game between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will take place at the Wanda Metropolitano on November 24th, 2018.
Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona
Three-Way: 1: Atletico Madrid +210; X: +229 Draw; 2: Barcelona +137 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread +0.5: Atletico Madrid -167; Barcelona +129
Total 2.5 goals: Over +100; Under -125
Ahead of the round, Atletico finds themselves third (23 points), level with Alaves and Sevilla and just one adrift of pace-setters Barca. The Catalan giants could travel to Madrid having been knocked off their perch, should Alaves claim all three points against Leganes on Friday.
The hosts come into the game in good form. They’re unbeaten in their last nine La Liga games (W5, D4), netting 16 goals and conceding five, and have lost just one of their last 14 competitive games. What’s more, Diego Simeone’s men boast an almost perfect home record this season (W7, D1, L0).
The Mattressers came from behind twice to beat Bilbao at home in the latest La Liga game as Atletico managed to snatch a late 3-2 victory despite having just three shots on target. Inaki Williams put the visitors up in the first half before Thomas Partey equalized in the 61st minute but Williams restored Bilbao’s lead only three minutes later. However, Rodrigo in the 80th and the captain Diego Godin in the 91st minute secured three points for the hosts in a dramatic finish.
Diego Simeone will be without his starting center-backs Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez who are sidelined with thigh and muscle injuries, respectively, while Diego Costa (foot), Lucas (thigh), Koke (muscle), Thomas Lemar (thigh), and Stefan Savic (leg) are all questionable for this tilt.
- Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in seven of Atletico’s 16 league goals (three goals, four assists)
- Atletico have managed five clean sheets in their last eight LaLiga games
- Just one of the eight league goals Atletico’s steely defense have conceded this season has come in the first-half
Barca’s mind-blowing 42-game unbeaten home league run was brought to a halt last game as Betis pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory. Their defensive frailties have seen them concede 14 more goals (18) than in the opening 12 league games of last season (four). Just five teams have shipped more goals than Barca in La Liga so far this campaign.
For the second time this season, Barcelona failed to get a win in two straight games as they first drew with Inter in the Champions League and then suffered a shocking 4-3 loss at home to Betis. Junior and Joaquin gave Betis a 2-0 lead in the first half, and even though Leo Messi cut the deficit to half from the penalty spot in the 68th minute, Giovani Lo Celso restored a 2-goal lead only three minutes later. Arturo Vidal scored in the 79th to make it 2-3 but Sergio Canales responded in the 83rd, and Messi’s injury-time goal only softened a loss.
Ernesto Valverde’s will be without suspended Ivan Rakitic, while Sergi Samper (calf) and Thomas Vermaelen (muscle) who will miss this tilt, while Philippe Coutinho is questionable with a thigh injury.
- Barca failed to keep a clean sheet in their last ten league matches
- Barcelona is on a 26-game scoring run in all competitions
- Lionel Messi (nine La Liga goals, five assists) has 28 goals to his name against Atletico (0.78 per game on average)
Barcelona is unbeaten in the previous six H2H encounters (W3 D3) and they didn’t lose to Atletico in La Liga since 2010, so it’s going to be a tough task for the visitors to record a victory on this one. The Blaugrana is also undefeated in the last three visits to the Wanda Metropolitano, while the latest tilt here ended without a winner, 1-1. The Mattressers have an opportunity to climb up to the top of the standings but the recent tradition is not on their side, so I think they would be satisfied with a point, so I am backing a draw here.
MY PICK: Draw (+229)
ADDITIONAL PICK: Only two out of the previous seven H2H tilts produced more than two goals as the most frequent result in this matchup is 1-1, so I am going with under 2.5 goals on this one. Also, if you like to bet on the correct result, you can try with 1-1 at the +500 odds.
MY PICK: Draw (+229)