Real Madrid’s loss to Valencia means Atlético can pick up points on the top two in a key rematch of Atlético’s close 3-2 aggregate loss in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Barcelona on the other hand are not in their best form, having suffered a 4-0 loss at the hands of PSG and the Champions League and only just edged past Leganés in La Liga last weekend.
Kick-off in the Spanish capital is set for 16:15 CET.
Three straight wins in all competitions with an impressive total of ten goals including a hat trick from Kevin Gameiro have Atlético flying high as they welcome the Blaugrana into the home stadium.
Atlético will try to continue the open play that resulted in four goals for Gameiro and two each for Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres while conceding less than they have in recent games.
Augusto Fernández, Juanfran, Diego Godín and Tiago continue to miss time through injuries clearing the way for Saul Ñiguez, Sime Vrsaljko, José Giménez and Yannick Ferriera Cararasco.
Despite the fixture congestion with the Barcelona match sandwiched between two midweek matches, Diego Simeone is expected to start a full strength eleven.
Luis Enrique is in his third season as manager of Barcelona and is expected to start a similar eleven to the one that forced a draw with Atlético in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.
Arturo Vidal and Javier Mascherano will continue to miss through injury, but Barcelona is otherwise at full strength and benefits from playing their Champions league fixture a week earlier than Atlético.
Marc Andre ter Stegen is likely to replace Jasper Cillessen in goal with Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Sergio Roberto along the back line. Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets (who returns from suspension) will substitute for Denis Suárez and Ivan Rakitic, alongside Andre Gomes in the midfield. Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Neymar will play the forward roles. Arda Turan is likely to be fit with the ability to come off the bench.
Messi leads the team with 34 goals in all competitions so far this season, but Suárez is not far behind with 25. Suárez leads the team with eight assists while Neymar has seven helpers in this campaign.
Barcelona won the teams´ Copa del Rey fixture 3-2 on aggregate, with Suárez scoring twice and Messi also getting a goal. Gameiro and Griezmann scored for Atlético. The teams drew 1-1 in the Camp Nou league fixture with Rakitic and Ángel Correa scoring the goals.
Diego Simeone praised the opponents ahead of Sunday’s match, saying, “FC Barcelona has always competed at the highest level. We have a difficult and important match ahead of us.”
The Squad list for this Sunday:
Goalkeepers: Miguel Ángel Moyá, Jan Oblak
Defenders: Filipe Luis, Stefan Savić, Sime Vrsaljko, Lucas Hernandez, José Giménez
Midfielders: Koke, Saúl Ñiguez, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Gabi, Thomas Partey, Nico Gaitán
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Ángel Correa, Kevin Gameiro.