Competition: La Liga 2019/20
Matchday: Matchday 33
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 30 2020, 10 pm CET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Referee: Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez and Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Oh dear)
Following an utterly heartbreaking tie against Celta de Vigo, Barcelona is back into action in their toughest challenge after the break for a final attempt to save their title hopes against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Barcelona is in second place and are two points below Real Madrid. Any slip-ups at this point in our title race and Real Madrid should be sealing the title earlier than expected.
Last game saw an early brace from Luis Suarez, but a goal from Smolov and Iago Aspas in the 50th and 88th minute saw Barcelona draw to the weaker home side. The inconsistencies in playstyle have put Setien’s job at risk, who might be fired if Barcelona fails to win any competition this season.
Our opponents have made a recovery from the beginning of the season, knocking Premier League winners Liverpool out of the Champions League, and winning 4 games out of 5 after the break and remaining unbeaten since the restart. Atletico tends to sit back and defend against attacking teams like Barcelona and should be broken down by creative players like Messi.
Let’s do this.
Barcelona: 69 points; 2nd place
Atletico Madrid: 58 points; 3rd place
This is the provisional lineup to play Atletico at home, as chosen by Quique Setien:
The youth players chosen are Iñaki Peña, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Monchu.
Sergi Roberto is back in the side after recovering from a rib fracture. Frenkie De Jong is still out due to a calf injury, while Ousmane Dembele is out due to a hamstring injury. There are no suspensions for this game, meaning that Setien has a mostly full-strength squad to face Atletico.
The expected lineup
After a poor defensive outing from Samuel Umtiti against Celta Vigo, there should be changes at central defence. Ter Stegen should start in goal, while Jordi Alba plays as left-backs and Semedo at right-back. Clement Lenglet should come in to replace Umtiti and will start alongside Gerard Pique to complete the defence.
Sergio Busquets, who was heavily missed against Celta Vigo should come back into the lineup this game. Ivan Rakitic, who has been solid at midfield should get the nod again. Arturo Vidal has played three games on the run and should be rested so that he can become better in the upcoming games. Arthur, who just signed with Juventus, may not start but get some game time later on in the game. This could mean that Puig, who has been brilliant the past few games, will start to complete the midfield.
In attack, captain Lionel Messi should start at right-wing while Suarez, who scored a brace, should start as the striker. The left-wing spot is up for grabs and might go to Ansu Fati, who has been solid at left-wing so far this season in my opinion to complete the attack.
Barcelona 1 Atletico Madrid 0
Atletico Madrid will definitely sit back and defend against Barcelona, so the game should be low-scoring. I predict that Lionel Messi will score a goal later on in the game after breaking down the defence with his creative ability.