Barcelona v Atletico Madrid Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 06/04/19
James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Barcelona v Atletico Madrid and provides us with his best bets for Saturday night’s La Liga clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: 2.3pts
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 06/04/19
- Time: 19:45
- Venue: Camp Nou
- Channel: N/A
The top two in La Liga meet at the Camp Nou on Saturday with a win for Barcelona all but handing the Catalans the title.
Ernesto Valverde’s side lead Saturday’s opponents Atletico by 8 points with just 8 league games to go. Real Madrid’s failure to deal with the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer and appoint a sufficient manager has made this likely title-winning campaign just as simple as last season for Barca, where they lost just once.
Atletico’s away form has prevented them from putting up a stiffer title challenge. In the 12 games where Simeone’s side dropped points, 9 were away. The period between the end of September and the start of December where Atletico drew 5 of their eight games has meant that despite an impressive run of form over the past two months, they still find themselves a comfortable distance behind Spain’s dominant force at the moment.
Most of Atletico’s success this season has been down to their notoriously stout defensive line. It was so pivotal to their 2013/14 success where they won the title and were a stoppage-time Sergio Ramos header away from the Champions League, and whilst others have come and gone since then, Uruguayan Diego Godin remains.
The 33-year-old has had yet another impressive season for Atleti and has put a number of talented defenders under his wing. Most notably, Lucas Hernandez, who was recently bought by Bayern for £68m, the second highest fee paid for a defender ever. Hernandez has come on massively the past two seasons and has developed into a versatile defender who can comfortably operate as an attacking full-back or as a centre-half. I’m really excited to see him at Bayern with the signing of Hernandez being part of a major rebuild for the German giants. Personally, I would like to see him in a 3-back system, playing as the LCB next to Sule and Pavard, who they also signed for the summer.
Going back to Spain, after what has been an almost anti-climactic season for Barca fans domestically with no-one really putting up much of a title challenge, the real test comes in the Champions League, which resumes on Tuesday.
This is a massive chance for the Catalans to add to their 5 CL titles and it’s an opportunity they’d love to take after constant disappointment in the quarter-final stage since they last won it in 2015. However, they only have the 5th best player in the world at the moment putting up mediocre numbers this season. Messi has only scored 32 times in La Liga as well as making 12 others. The Argentine also has a pretty dismal record in the CL this season, scoring 8 and setting up 3 more in 5 whole starts. Let’s not forget that he’s only managed the four hat-tricks as well.
After Atletico succumbed to a sight they had seen so often, Cristiano Ronaldo, in the last 16, Barcelona cruised through in the second leg against Lyon, setting up a quarter-final tie with Man United and the potential to meet Liverpool in the semis. Despite Ole being at the wheel, I don’t see how United will cope with this dynamic Barca side over two legs. Gerrard Pique is ageless at the back, they have an elite GK in the form of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, a plethora of technical midfielders as well as the best footballer of all time going forward.
It really is a superb Barcelona team that will only get better in the next few seasons. The likes of Arthur and Carlos Alena will just keep on improving whilst they seem to be set for when Pique decides to hang it up with Clement Lenglet impressing this season. Not to mention Frenkie de Jong joining the side next year. Barca fans will be hoping that his masterclass at the Bernabeu for Ajax in their 4-1 win over Real was just the first of many. The partnership of him and Arthur will be one to watch over the next decade.
It’s unlikely that Ousmane Dembele will be fit for this one with the side travelling to Manchester for Wednesday’s game. Rafinha is also out whilst Arturo Vidal is suspended for picking up his 5th yellow of the season against Villarreal on Tuesday.
Atletico are in a bit of an injury crisis at the moment, especially going forward with Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa being doubts and Thomas Lemar ruled out. Lucas Hernandez has already played his final game in an Atletico shirt as he is out for the season.
Potential Barcelona Starting XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, Alena, Rakitic, Coutinho, Messi, Suarez.
Potential Atletico Starting XI: Oblak, Arias, Gimenez, Godin, Juanfran, Rodri, Koke, Thomas, Saul, Griezmann, Kalinic.
Head To Head
- Since 2005: Barca-22, Draw-10, Atletico-8.
- Atletico haven’t beaten Barca in La Liga since a 2-1 victory in 2010 and haven’t won at the Camp Nou since 2006 (in La Liga).
Key Stats & Facts
- Lionel Messi once again leads the league in goals and assists; his tally of 32 league goals is 13 more than anyone else.
- Messi also currently leads the ‘Golden Shoe’, an award for the most goals out of players in all the top European leagues, he has already won this award 5 times.
- In 25 La Liga games against Atletico, Messi has 16 goals.
- Atletico leagues the lead in clean sheets with 17 and has conceded just 19 times this season, 12 less than anyone else.
- Atletico’s tally of 45 La Liga goals is 34 lower than Barca’s.
- The away side have lost just once in 7 games, that loss to Bilbao being the only game they conceded in during that period.
- Despite possibly being without Costa and Morata (6 goals), their top scorer, Antoine Griezmann, is fit and available.
- Barcelona haven’t lost since that 4-3 loss at home to Betis back in November, a run of 18 games unbeaten.
- Barcelona 81/100
- Draw 11/4
- Atletico 50/13
This game has been very tight over the past few seasons with a 1-1 draw always looking like a safe bet for punters.
However, I think that with Atletico’s injury woes going forward and with Lucas Hernandez also missing, I like the look of Barcelona just short of evens. Barcelona have got a great domestic record against Atletico, not losing since 2010 and that man Lionel Messi is certainly someone I’m not going to bet against with the form he’s in at the moment. I’m going to have to back the little magician to get on the scoresheet first as well and I really don’t think it needs much justification.
Although I haven’t had much success with picking out players to be carded over recent weeks, I’m going to test it again as this is a fixture that usually provides a few bookings and I’ve also noticed that Spanish referees are certainly more willing to dish out cards compared to English refs. For example, eight teams in La Liga average over 3 cards a game with Atletico averaging 2.9 and Barca 2.1, which is the lowest in the league. Barcelona’s average is, in fact, higher than 18 PL clubs, with 15 PL clubs averaging between 1-2 cards a game.
Looking at this fixture, I’m going to back a player on either side to be carded. For Barcelona, I like the look of Lenglet at 5/2. The Frenchman has been carded 7 times this season and was sent off by Saturday’s referee Jesus Gil Manzano in a game against Girona earlier this season. For Atleti, I’m backing Koke at 2/1. Koke is a workhorse in that midfield and averages 2.5 tackles a game. On Saturday he’s facing a technically astute midfield that will have the ball for the majority of the game, I like the look of the Spaniard leaving in a late one at some point on Saturday.