Friday, May 16, 2014

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid La Liga - May 17, 2014

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Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid - Competition: Spanish Primera Division

FC Barcelona enter Saturday’s clash with Atletico with a great chance to triumph in Spain once again. With a victory at the ever-intimidating Camp Nou, the Catalonian club can clinch their 5th La Liga title in 6 years. It is a fortunate turn of events for the hosts, as none of the top 3 clubs in Spain have won their last 2 league matches. However, Barca are unbeaten in their last 5 matches in all competitions and defeated Girona 3-2 in the semifinals of the prestigious cup of yesteryear, the Copa Catalonya. Espanyol won the other semifinal, and a classic encounter is on the cards for next week. But full focus and intent will be on this Saturday, and the Blaugrana must find a way to stop leaking cheap goals at the back. In their last 3 matches in all competitions, they’ve conceded 4 goals, which may not be a substantial tally, but considering the opposition of Getafe, Elche, and Segunda Division Girona, they really should be doing better. Getafe netted late on when Barcelona just had to withstand a few minutes of pressure, but the aging backline conceded another crucial goal and the hosts are admittedly lucky to even have a chance at claiming the Spanish crown here. In 5 matches against Atletico Madrid this season, Barcelona have drawn four times and lost once. Long-time goalkeeper Victor Valdes has played his last game in a Barcelona uniform.
Atletico Madrid team have blown two straight opportunities in La Liga action that would’ve ultimately won them their first title since the 1995-1996 season. Now, they must obtain at least a draw at the boisterous Camp Nou, where the hosts have won 6 of their last 7 league matches. It has been a puzzling turn of form for the visitors, who after clinching their place in the Champions League final and claiming pole position for the Spanish crown, lost 2-0 at Levante and then drew at home with Malaga 1-1. In fact, they’re perhaps a bit lucky to still be in such a strong position. However, Los Rojiblancos boast the league’s strongest defence, and they’ve only given up 7 goals from their last 16 matches in all competitions. Furthermore, Barcelona have failed to win in all 5 meetings this season, managing to score just twice on manager Diego Simeone’s troops. Both of those goals came from Brazilian attacker Neymar, whose fitness is currently uncertain for Saturday. While striker Diego Costa is questionable leading up to the weekend with a bad hamstring, sources claim the Spanish goal-machine will be available to start. Diego Simeone will need to find a way to calm his men before kickoff, as the hosts certainly have more experience and thus the potential psychological advantage.

Barcelona last 5 matches:
12/04/14 Granada 1 – 0 Barcelona
16/04/14 Barcelona 1 – 2 Real Madrid
20/04/14 Barcelona 2 – 1 Athletic Club
27/04/14 Villarreal 2 – 3 Barcelona
03/05/14 Barcelona 2 – 2 Getafe

Atletico Madrid last 5 matches:
18/04/14 Atlético Madrid 2 – 0 Elche
22/04/14 Atlético Madrid 0 – 0 Chelsea
27/04/14 Valencia 0 – 1 Atlético Madrid
30/04/14 Chelsea 1 – 3 Atlético Madrid
04/05/14 Levante 2 – 0 Atlético Madrid

Match date: Saturday, 17 May 2014
Kick Off Time: 17:00 BST
Venue: Estadio Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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