This is one of those middling ties. It’s not as predictable as Bayern and Benfica, it won’t cause as much of an upset as Wolfsburg and Real Madrid and it doesn’t have as much money as the titanic tussle of Man City and PSG. Barcelona are in the lead from the first leg but have been patchy in the last couple of games. Atleti have a big choice to make.
When we say Barca’s form is patchy we mean that they’ve lost two league games in a row, something which hadn’t happened since October 2014. That was until Real Sociedad’s Bigfoot Mikel Oyarzabal struck the winner at the weekend to blow the La Liga title race wide open. Barca are now only three clear of Atleti and four ahead of Real.
It’s an unusual feeling and one that stats don’t suggest should be happening. Luis Enrique’s side are averaging 16 shots per game, 2.72 goals per game and this is despite having fewer chances than Lyon, Arsenal and Liverpool (The Catalonians have created 356 chances all season).
Atelti have only beaten Barca four times in the last decade. The last time was in a Champions League quarter final. In the second leg. In the Calderón. Makes you think doesn’t it. But what suggests that a repeat of that 1-0 victory can happen on Wednesday? Yes, they’re missing Fernando Torres after he was sent off in the Camp Nou. However, Diego Simeone’s defence when in their own backyard is the second strongest in Europe. Atleti have conceded just 7 home goals in 16 home games, two of them to Barca. But which does Simeone want more, the Champions League or to reel Barca in at the top of La Liga?
- In the last four meetings between the two sides in Madrid the score has been 0-0 at half time
- Atleti’s only non-Liga win over Barca was that Champions League win in 2014
- Barca have won 14 of their 17 European Cup/Champions quarter final ties.
- Atleti have only ever reached two European Cup semi finals
Another 1-0 victory like in 2014 will do Atleti but our traders have that at. With Torres missing there’s more pressure on Antoine Griezmann to score. A wincast with the Frenchmen is. Atleti’s defensive record means that under 2.5 goals should be worth a punt at. However Barca’s history and that impressive home rearguard means that our tip is a draw at halftime and Barcelona at fulltime at odds of.