Football Tips: Messi the man in our 3 best bets for Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Our tipster Paddy Murphy takes a deep dive into the gigantic Barcelona v Atletico Madrid La Liga clash on Saturday.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon in what could be a La Liga title decider. Going into the match, Atletico are two points above Real Madrid and Barcelona. With Real playing on Sunday, Barcelona can take top spot with a win here.

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It doesn’t come much bigger than this. Both teams are in good shape, although Atletico’s away form has seen them win just one of their last five in La Liga and they’ve not won a league match at the Nou Camp since 2006.

Can they continue their march towards the title here or will Barcelona take charge? We’ve piled over the stats and form of both teams to find the three Best Bets.

Ronald Koeman

Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 goals

Both teams are 6/4 to lift the title in four games’ time but Barcelona are the big favourites to take the three points here. Over their five most recent meetings at the Nou Camp in all competitions they’ve only beaten Atletico twice, Atletico won one and two ended level. Looking at La Liga matches only, Barca have won three, two ended all square.

Barcelona made a complete mess of things last Thursday at home losing 1-2 to Granada and their defensive problems were there for all to see. They don’t often keep a clean sheet on home soil and concede 1.06 goals per home league match on average. They score a pretty healthy 2.53 goals, though. Atletico’s away record of goals stands at 1.41 on average and have only been kept scoreless at the Nou Camp in three of their last 10 visits.

Atletico don’t necessarily need the win here but they sure as hell cannot afford to lose and as time ticks down Barcelona are going to be throwing all they have at them. Both Teams to Score looks a given but with Barca in particular finding their scoring boots of late with 15 over their last five matches, we’ll go one better here with Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 goals.

Lionel Messi to Score Anytime

There’s pretty decent odds on offer here for the Barcelona legend Lionel Messi to Score Anytime especially considering the fact that the Argentine has scored a mind-boggling 32 goals over 42 appearances against Atletico.

He’s in mighty form too, scoring seven goals over his last five matches for the Catalans in all competitions and he has also scored seven over his five most recent home La Liga matches at the Nou Camp. He also has four over his last five against Atletico at home in all competitions.

Half-Time: Draw

Both teams have been doing most of their respective business in the second half of matches, Barcelona have scored 56.3% of their goals in the second half while Atletico have scored 65.6% of their goals after the break.

It’s worth mentioning too that three of the last five matches between these sides at the Nou Camp have been level at halftime and in four out of five previous meetings home/away it’s also been level at HT. The result of this match is going to go a long way towards deciding where the La Liga title ends up this season and we should see a tense first half.

Tips for Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 goals
Lionel Messi to Score Anytime
HT: Draw

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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