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La Liga 17/18 Week 8: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona, Lineups, Preview & Prediction

Two of La Liga's heavyweights meet in the capital as Atletico Madrid host a Barcelona side who are yet to drop a point.


19:45 (BST), Saturday 14th October, Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid

Barcelona travel to Madrid as they look to defend their faultless start to the season which has seen them create an early five-point gap over second-placed Sevilla.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are quickly piecing their season back together after a shaky start and they now find themselves within a point of second place.

This fixture also sees Madrid meet Catalonia amid the political unrest over the proposed independence of the latter, and that is likely to be one of the main talking points surrounding this game.

Last time out

Leganes 0-0 Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid were held last time out by a Leganes side who are proving to be one of the surprise packages this season.

This result followed a last-minute defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League and it leaves them in fourth place, below Valencia.

Meanwhile, Leganes are up in the dizzy heights of seventh, despite only managing to beat the drop late on last season.

Barcelona 3-0 Las Palmas

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Amidst the serious unrest in the city of Barcelona, this game looked certain to be called off, before the club were threatened with a six point deduction.

The decision was then made to play it in front of an empty Camp Nou, to send a message to governing bodies that this game shouldn’t have been played, according to Bartomeu.

Another brace from Lionel Messi and a rare goal from Sergio Busquets secured a 3-0 win for Barca on the day, but the football wasn’t the real story here.

Atletico Madrid lineups

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Atletico Madrid have come through the international break largely unscathed and they have just two injury concerns heading into this one.

Filipe Luis remains a doubt and Lucas Hernandez is still attempting to return to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines.

Barcelona lineup

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Barcelona still have the same injury concerns as before the break with Rafinha undergoing an operation and Ousmane Dembele still recovering from his long-term injury.

There’s also a doubt over Andres Iniesta who has endured a frustrating time with injuries in recent times.

Key Battle: Antoine Griezmann vs Lionel Messi

There are two clear heavyweight players for this heavyweight tie and Antoine Griezmann is the man to watch for Atletico Madrid.

The Frenchman has the ability to embarrass any defence with his dancing feet and splitting passes, perhaps that’s why he’s been linked to this week’s opponents Barcelona by the Spanish press during this week.

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Lionel Messi is, of course, Barcelona’s star man and he has already taken this season by the horns to make it his.

Already flying at the top of the goal-scoring charts, Messi looks unstoppable at the moment, but can Atletico change that?

Talking points

Are Atletico any better?

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There’s one clear talking point surrounding this game, but sticking to football, it will be interesting to see how Atletico Madrid fare against a team as good as Barcelona.

It hasn’t been the best of starts, but the big thing here, is that we get to find out if Atletico really have improved at all from last season, though, it was always going to be tough to do that without new players.

Will Barcelona respond to tougher opposition?

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This is a big game for Barcelona. Their fantastic start has been undermined by opposition fans citing their ‘easy fixtures’ as the reason they are top having won every game.

Atletico Madrid will provide stiffer opposition, and it’s a big opportunity for Barcelona to send a clear message that they’re at the top to stay.

Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona

Barcelona look untouchable at the moment and while that has largely been against lesser opposition, they haven’t put a foot wrong.

It will be a lot more difficult against Atletico Madrid, but don’t rule out a late winner from the Catalans to take all three points back to Camp Nou.

  1. Who will win this heavyweight clash?

    1. Atletico Madrid
    2. Barcleona
    149 votes
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Jamie Kemble

Covering La Liga for Real Sport and Welsh football for Inside Wales. Third-year journalism student, also learning Spanish.

La Liga 17/18 Week 8: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona, Lineups, Preview & Prediction

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