Match Preview: Atlético vs. Barcelona

Spanish giants face off at the Vicente Calderón

David Villa atletico barcelona

At the start of the season Atlético and
Barça tied in Spanish Super Cup
(Clubatleticodemadrid.com)

In any season, match ups against FC Barcelona would be highly anticipated by Atleti fans and perhaps a bunch of La Liga lovers.

This time, however, the game against the Catalan giants is more than just another league fixture. The entire world will be watching as Atlético Madrid and Barcelona face off in what’s arguably the biggest match of the season in any league around Europe.

The two teams come into the game with a record of 16 wins, a single draw and a total of 49 points. The battle at Cholo Castle will not only cap off the first round of La Liga, but could also have huge consequences considering the Spanish league is decided on a head to head record if the teams were still to be tied in points on the final day.

Diego Simeone refuses to look that far ahead and told the press on Friday that he’s approaching the clash with the Culés as just another game.

“This is an important game, but it’s still just another game in a long season. It’s not a final”, the Argentine coach said.

The importance of the game was emphasized by Cholo’s decision to call up his full squad for the game. Only Léo Baptistão, who was excused, and Mario Suárez, who is still recovering from injury, are missing.

In the Spanish Super Cup this season Simeone went with the exact same line up in both games, consisting of Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe, Arda, Gabi, Mario, Koke, Diego Costa and David Villa. Other than Mario and perhaps the disapppointing Villa there seems little reason to change the team. El Guaje has struggled recently, but did net an incredible goal in the previous encounter at the Vicente Calderón.

Like his counterpart, Tata Martino also has all of his men available as both teams will start their Once de Gala.

Martino got terrific news when Lionel Messi recovered just in time to return to the team. The diminutive superstar played 30 minutes in Wednesday’s cup game with Getafe and immediately bagged two goals, showing he needs little rhythm to return to his best form.

Like Messi, Brazilian duo Neymar and Dani Alves are also expected to return for Barça, giving their coach a plethora of options to pick from.

Atlético match selection
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Aranzubia, Bounou
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Manquillo, Alderweireld, Giménez, Juanfran, Miranda, Insúa
Midfielders: Koke, Raúl García, Gabi, Arda, Guilavogui, Óliver, Tiago, C. Rodríguez, Sosa
Forwards: Adrián, Villa and Diego Costa

Who do you think will win? Share your thoughts here and leave a prediction in the AtléticoFans Prediction League!


  • piserakos

    vamos atleti…. difficult match but I believe we will celebrate at night…

  • tattu mian

    Baptistão has gone to betis right?

  • Adnan Khan

    yes, Tattu Mian.
    He has gone to Betis on loan.

  • pantic#10

    He should have loaned to Rayo (verbal agreement), but Vallecas couldn’t match the financial offer of Betis.
    Good luck Leo, play and score. we need a great Leo for the next season.

  • kris

    Club Atletico de Madrid 2-0 FC Barcelona! Aupa Atleti!

  • Arjit

    I think Sosa could be a secret weapon of some sort tonight. Also, I predict Raul Garcia scoring!

  • Dircil

    I predict a catastrophic and flawless win for Atletico over Barca. Hope to see Villa on the scoresheet again, like what he did last time when we faced em.

  • Amr Habib Mukadaffi

    Guys we have this cmon !! if Ajax can beat them, then we can beat barca for sure !!

  • starvs

    PARTIDO A FUCKING PARTIDO, HERE WE ARE. LETS GO.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Last game in the first round .. Last chance for David Villa

  • pantic#10

    uuufff…..i’m so thrilled!!!!
    1 hour…only 1 hour.

    i don’t think the match will end with more than 2 goals for side, it will finish from 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 2-1 or 2-2
    We need the perfect match from Courtois to Diego Costa, to win.

    Villa, please, play like you know 😉 play like Maravilla and not your bad copy!

    I’m curious to see if Cholo surprise us with a different starter team.

  • Jeronamo

    I wouldn’t be angry with a draw if we don’t win… I think going game by game has worked wonderfully but even after this game we still have alot of tough tests.

    Aupa Atleti

  • Pantic#10

    No surprises about the starter team…but Sosa is on the bench!

  • kris

    Venticinco mas minutos! Aupa Atleti!

  • kris

    Iniesta’s and all the other shawty’s dives should be nominated for Oscar. God damn he’s a great actor.

  • pantic#10

    @Kris: i was writing the same thing!! incredible…
    He’s such a strong player…why act like this?

  • kris

    I have no idea why they do that. Maybe, that’s the way Barcelona play… have been playing.. Boring first half.. Cholo, do something. Es su partido.. We believe in Cholo miracle. Come on.. Cholo.

  • barcelona will be the team of the season in laliga

  • Dircil

    pretty solid defence from both side, but I still hold a firm belief that we’ll secure at least a minimum win at Calderon!

  • Will

    @Simba, Barcelona has the obligation to be the best team of the season in La Liga and in Champions League. They twice or three times the money of almost all the other competitors. Let’s see how everything end up.

  • Jelle

    Good defense.
    Costa need to pass the ball and then run deep, he is not creative when he try to do it by him self. Come on guys.
    Ps. I love our fans

  • Will

    Man, Arda is a warrior!

  • kris

    Busquets made a suicide tackle on Arda. Worked well for a suicide, even tho, I hope he’s fine.

  • kris

    Damn. Brilliant moves from the two forwards there. FOOK YOU MASCHERANO!

  • Will

    Arda Turan MOTM. Incredible performance by the Turkish.

    I’m more than proud of my club.

  • pantic#10

    0-0
    We played a very good match.
    Great work by all the players.
    Arda was fantastic, Diego fought on every balls, Miranda and Godin were amazing, Gabi is an idol.
    all of them, so proud.

  • Jelle

    And tiago played a good game!

  • Amr Habib Mukadaffi

    Even Messi wanted the shirt of Arda after the game 😀

  • Brad

    So close…

  • pantic#10

    whhoooooo i’m still super-excited 🙂
    What a team we have. from the starters to the subs everyone played a solid match.

  • Adnan Khan

    Arda turan the turkish warrior was man of the match today. Now lets hope littlebrother of barca wins against our spoiled little brother real madrid. Don’t want them to come close to us.

  • Gerard Piqué the great

    Another game and another draw against your pathetic side. Sorry, but you park the bus every game and play defensive. Cowardly approach and a cowardly manager. At best you can only draw with Barcelona.

    Your team spent the whole game diving and cheating. A team that players in the image of their thug of a coach.

    I wish it was a proper club who attempt decent football like Valencia or Sociedad challenging for 1st along with Fail (Real) Madrid, not your overrated bunch of divers. You’ll be nobodies when Diego Costa leaves

    All I’ve said is FACT, you can only park the bus and rely on luck to beat or draw with good teams.

  • Jeronamo

    That was a fantastic tactical battle. i enjoyed all of it and Arda was outstanding. On to the next match

  • Jeronamo

    I will never understand why an obvious idiot who calls himself a fan of a team would come onto our site to say such dumb things…. divers? parking the bus? what match were you watching you asshole?

  • Dircil

    Good performance by all Atletico’s warriors. Our defense was awesome as usual. If I’m not mistaken, we have more goal attempts than Barca does and that is a good sight. However, we could have done a lot better if we had had a good playmaker. Bring Diego back and see what we can do with a playmaker like that!

  • Brad

    He obviously wasn’t watching the one where barca’s players spent a lot of time rolling on the ground after they made bad challenges

  • Brad

    Also barca had 3 yellow cards to Aleti’s two and the ref missed a few for simulation

  • Dircil

    @Gerard: Barca’s players commited more dives than us. Since when parking bus has been considered as “negative play”. Does the ref give red card to those who park bus in front of the goal? Your team got more lucks than us. How many times has ur team won against weaker team thanks to helps from the ref? Ur statement is obviously absurd and ignorant.

  • kris

    LMFAO. Gerard Pique the Great. lmfao. Well, we weren’t the ones that were passing the ball around in the last minutes instead of trying to go for a win and attacking with all the attacking talents you have.. YOU played for a DRAW against a thuggish team like Atleti. Stupid Barcelona fans. I swear..

  • Jeronamo

    I remember a recent barca fan being smarter in comments and i know a good few fans of barca that aren’t as ignorant as Gerard Pique the Great is. however their are some fools who only recently started watching football and try to pass themselves off as fans… i enjoyed the match tho and i stand by my statement, it was a great tactical battle

  • Adnan Khan

    Stupid fanboys, they dont know a shit about football. “Parking the bus” lol. What had you expected? Us going forward with all of our 11 players so you could get some easy goal? They just can’t tolerate that a team is finally challenging them. All the fans from the other clubs was supporting atleti and giving atletico the cred and respect they deserve. So many people can’t be wrong. Aupa Atleti!

  • Chewie

    Why hasn’t anyone noticed how bad Koke was – nervous, pathetic crosses, losing the ball all the time? Very solid defensive display in this match, but poor offense, which is anyway better then vice versa.

  • Ash

    if you cannot talk about football, then pls fuck off barca trolls

  • piserakos

    @chewie… I noticed that but I write after you…
    Koke, Costa and Villa(not all the match) were bad… Arda, Gabi, Felipe were FANTASTIC… see you tomorrow. 0-0 a good result. Aupa Atleti

  • layibiyi

    That was one heck of a game, guys… Serious intensity from both teams. I’m just happy we are starting to focus on also having a good defense again, it has gotten away from us the last few years. Hope Real do both our teams a favor.

    You guys here should know better than responding to ignorant and disrespectful barca fans. As a barca fan, you can imagine how many of them I’ve come across. You should also even pray they don’t discover this site, if the title race continues to go as expected. Haha

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    It was obvious that Simeone gave Koke a defensive role, even before Tiago came off, and he succeeded 100% as we didn’t concede any goals

    3 draws in a row against Barca, 2 wins in a row against Real, both at Bernabeu
    50 points in the half of La Liga, without Messi & Neymar, and without Ronaldo & Bale
    and after selling Falcao and failing to sign any playmaker

    I can’t never imagine anybody can do that other than El Cholo
    He is our biggest star, and without him, I don’t know were would we be right now

    Gracias Simeone

  • EC

    Good result and a very good performance. I would say we were a little better than them.
    Turan was fantastic, but I was dissapointed with Koke and Villa. I think Raul Garcia has earned himself a starting place ahead of Villa at the moment. I Also thought Diego Costa had a pretty good game it just a shame he couldn’t grab a goal. Oh and Our defence was very solid as usual :). Especially impressive keeping another clean sheet against the likes of messi, neymar, Alexis and Pedro

  • Gerard Piqué the great

    You can’t accept someone telling you the truth about your overrated team so call them names.

    Fact: Atletico v Barcelona, three dull draws this season and all because of Atletico’s tactics. You just run around a lot and rely on Diego Costa or Courtois saving you most games. Individually your players are very average, for years clowns like Godin bent over for Fail Madrid and let them score 4 goals and players like Koke etc overrated, no better than S. Keita was for us.

    Barcelona plays the beautiful game
    Atletico plays football that will be the death of the beautiful game, 8 or 9 defenders per game

    You’ll be found out and slip down to 3rd place very soon.

    I hope so anyways, because I was so frustrated to draw with your overrated mob again I punched my chair and hurt my wrist out of anger.

  • kris

    Laibiyi, respect to you mate. What I like about this season’s La Liga is the amount of competitiveness, haven’t seen that in a while now, have we? Hopefully your city rivals can do us both a favour tomorrow against Real.. and we shall roll on.. lol.

  • EC

    @ Gerard Pique The Great:

    You just like many other Real and Barca fans complain that there isn’t much of a challenge in La liga and then as soon as a challenge arises you go in a huff. Typical.

    Yes we played a more organised and defensive game than Barcelona, but we still attacked and had more chances and efforts at goal than you did

    Guess what there is far more than one way to win a football match and if your team can find a way to over come ours then tough

  • EC

    Can’t*

  • Brad

    Don’t feed the troll…

  • Will

    BRAD is right.

  • starvs

    Gabi needs to be taking free kicks and corners.

  • Gerard Piqué the great

    Poor debate here – unless you post how God your coach is and that your defence is amazing, Diego Costa is better than Messi and that Koke is the new Iniesta, you are called a troll, which is a terrible comeback. That’s unfair and I take great offence. I’m a passionate lover of Barcelona, like you all claim to love Atletico Madrid. Neither side is a troll. TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ATLETICO BEING OVERRATED AND HAVING A FLUKE SEASON IS JUST THE TRUTH IMO, not trolling.

    I’m not surprised though, you call Barcelona fans glory hunters but looking at this site the comments are FAR more active than your archive in 2011/12 season. I wonder why? Because you win more games and are a flavour of the month bandwagon club right now! It happens to all clubs, no doubt some of you are new ‘fans’ of the club and hadn’t heard of Koke until the year 2013.

  • colmiak

    I’m a relatively new fan. I started following when Falcao moved from Porto to Atlético . He is my countryman and I originally started watching because of him. I still watch Atléti, they became “my team”. I still follow Falcao at Monaco but only here and there. This is my team.

    That being said, Atléti has been getting progressively better ever since the arrival of Diego Pablo “El Cholo” Simeone. He came in and brought them from bottom half of the table to barely missing out on a Champions League spot in his debut season which wasn’t even a full season! Oh yea, he also helped us win Europa League, no big deal.

    The next year went much better, El Cholo had a full season. We won the Supercopa, handily I might add versus a team whom everyone else expected to dominate us. Grabbed a Champions League spot.

    Then we won the Copa del Rey, finally beating our favorite “blancos”. We proceeded to do it again in league play, again in their own backyard.

    This all happened with current players. Only one or two “star” signings that happened before El Cholo took over. Falcao and Diego Ribas were then our “star” duo. Meanwhile, Cholo shaped our current squad into the star players they are today.

    They were all average, most of them. Cholo took their full potential and surpassed it with many.

    Costa was in the shadows when Falcao was here but he was always doing better and better. Koke was good but it wasn’t until Diego left that he really started to take a more important role with the team. Arda has always been important (since I started following, anyway). I always thought Filipe and Juanfran were amazing (I slightly favor Filipe since you see him attack more but Juanfran is just as important with his amazing defense; the man is a train, always tracking back). Miranda and Godin were shaped into the impenetrable wall they are today by Cholo.

    Cholo took the most hated player (by it’s fans) on the team and has turned him into a goalscoring machine. I was actually waiting for Raul Garcia to come on today. I hope Cholo helps Villa find his star power again soon.

    Even the ones I’ve not mentioned here, they all got better because of spirit El Cholo gave this team.

    Why do is say all this?

    Because Barcelona, with all their star power that has been built over the years (many more than Cholo has been with Atléti) cannot claim a defeat on this team in their last three encounters. This “overrated” team is somehow stopping your super star team dead in it’s tracks. Call it parking the bus, call it “thug” tactics; fact is, your team is barely hanging on.

    I understand it is frustrating, wondering why you can’t just make this team roll over. Punching your chair won’t help! Just stand quietly by and give credit where it is due. Barcelona is a great team and they have been for quite a while. Atlético is up and coming. Atlético is hungry. Atlético is very good and if Cholo has his way, they won’t stop until Atlético Madrid is great.

    Watch out, next time you might just lose to this grossly overrated team. Please punch your computer screen at that time, do us all a favor.

  • Pantic#10

    @colmiak: that’s a really great post!

  • Dircil

    I think the so called “gerard pique the great” is an autistic moron who watches football with the mind of a kid. I think Pique would be very embarassed if he knows his fan using his name to post crap on this website.

  • ali_

    that kid (Gerard Pique The Great) is kinda like all the kids on xbox and playstation i met lately, they cant handle if the little pathetico (most pathetic nickname for our team) beats or on pair with their multimillionaire real or barca. so if they cant beat you, they just quit before the end of the game.

  • ali_

    ahhh, my point is, that its +2 hard games in a season for real and barce so get used to it.

  • palestine-atletico

    @gerard pique the great: what do you want??
    Your team cant win atletico for 3 matches, after 19 weeks we are equivalent in points 50 for each, BUT your team costs 400 millions euro more than atleti so you can conclude how idiot you and your comments.
    And regarding defenders if you like pique, miranda and godin are the best pair of defenders in europe nowadays!
    If you want to compare gabi was better than xavi, tiago was better than sergio ,ARDA was better than whole barca 😀 filipe and juanfran better than alba and alves, and costa was better than alexis sanches.

  • Pantic#10

    Fellow colchoneros let’s stay focused on our great team and enjoy the beautiful moment.
    Yesterday we saw an almost perfect display of strategy by Atleti.
    There’s no need to altercate with provocateurs.

  • the man Cholo

    Don’t care about that bullshit. We did very good by our tactics. We’ve been never care about possesion but the result. We ended 2nd at the half season while our possesion is not impressive in La liga. So don’t feed that bullshit who pissed off by the result.

  • Gabriel

    *****Arda Turan *****
    was very good