Preview: Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona (game 35 liga 2012/13)

atletico madrid 1-2 barça falcao valdes mascheranoGames between Atlético and Barça are always something special and tomorrow evening’s clash at the Vicente Calderon should be no exception as Barça seek to clinch the fourth Liga in five years and the 22nd overall. Of course Barça’s celebrations may begin tonight if second-placed Real Madrid fail to beat Español at Cornellà-El Prat. Either way Tito Vilanova will be hoping to finish the season in style.

Judging from the press this week the only matter of importance would appear to be the possible new signings for next season. The list for this week includes Reina, Ter Stegen, Thiago Silva, Hummels, Marquinhos, David Luiz, Iñigo Martinez, Mathieu, Gundogan, Matuidi, Isco, Veratti, Reus, Rooney, Suarez, Fischer and of course Neymar to name just a few, while according to El Mundo Deportivo the only untouchables of the present squad are Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Piqué.

Whoever we sign, and Neymar still seems the most likely of all the candidates with Sandro Rosell reportedly negotiating with representatives of Santos in Madrid yesterday, the present squad deserve more respect and the achievement of regaining the league should not be undervalued.

atletico madrid 1-2 barça valdes courtoisCarles Puyol and Javier Mascherano are both nearing the end of their recuperations and Mascherano may receive medical clearance in time for tomorrow’s game. Barça will again be without Victor Valdés, who suffered a recurrence of his foot injury in training, and Eric Abidal who has a minor calf injury.  Nevertheless, Vilanova has named the entire first team squad for the trip to Madrid so that nobody misses out on the possible celebration, while the only B team player included is keeper Jordi Masip who has been called up due to Valdés’s injury.

Leo Messi and Sergio Busquets are apparently back to 100% so they should be fine to play the 90 minutes tomorrow, so we could see a starting XI of Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Adriano, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi and Pedro, though Vilanova could also give a start to Bartrá, Fabregas, Tello or Villa.

atletico madrid 1-2 barça messiOpponents Atlético have little to play for as whatever happens in their remaining four matches they will almost certainly finish up in third place. Like Barça Cholo Simeone’s men had an excellent first half to the season but have dropped in form in the last three months. Their home form had been impeccable with thirteen wins out of thirteen in La Liga up until the end of February but since then they have only managed one win and one draw from their last four league games at the Calderon. Last season Barça won the corresponding fixture 1-2 with goals from Dani Alves and this fantastic free-kick from Messi.

Possible lineups:

Atlético: Coutois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Insúa; Tiago, Gabi; Adrian, Turan, Koke; Falcao.

Barça: Pinto; Alves, Piqué, Adriano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Pedro.

Prediction: Atlético 2 Barça 3

Date: Sunday 12 May 2013. Kick off 7 pm local time.

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7 Responses to Preview: Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona (game 35 liga 2012/13)

  1. richmcl says:

    Reblogged this on In Xanadu Did Kubla Khan.

  2. barcacentralomer says:

    @Nic: I’m still very disappointed with the reserve team members not getting into the squad let alone the starting XI. Strange tactics yet again from Tito who for some reason has gone into cautious mode. Both the fringe and B team players need to be thrown into the deep end to see if they are to develop and be retained or disposed off during the summer. I don’t know why the team management is so hesitant about giving them more playing time especially considering the fact that the Liga title is almost sealed.

    Not sure how many of the names being touted by the media are actually going to end up at Barca next season. Neymar is probably the most likely although I hope he doesn’t turn out to be another Saviola or Riquelme – highly rated in South America and an underachiever in Europe.

    Speaking of Atletico, wouldn’t mind having Falcao but we prob won’t be able to fit him in our system and will not be able to compete in financial terms with the likes of Chelski and Man City.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      @Omer – I would definitely have liked to see more youngsters in recent games, however, I think as the title may be won this weekend then it is fair enough that it is the first team players who get to enjoy the possible party. Good to see promising 17-year-olds midfielder Sergi Samper and goalkeeper Joseph Ondoa get some training time with the first team this week, while Samper also signed a new contract till 2017.
      I imagine once the title is won we will see some more youngsters for the final games.

  3. barcacentralomer says:

    @Nic: Lets hope the title gets wrapped up before our Atleti fixture courtesy of a favourable outcome in the Espanyol-Real fixture. Looking forward to seeing La Masia’s finest getting a shot with the first team in the remaining games.

  4. barcacentralomer says:

    Finally Espanyol does us a favour and holds Real.
    FC Barcelona – Champions La Liga 2012-13
    Congrats to everybody over here on this wonderful blog and to all Barca fans.
    Visca Barca!

  5. barcacentralnic says:

    Campeones Campeones oé oé oé!!! Congratulations everyone!

  6. layibiyi says:

    Congrats people!! Don’t know about y’all, but I’m definitely celebrating the league here

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