A quick match preview today, ahead of a massive game in La Liga. This afternoon at 4:15 local time, its one of our most important games this season. On the weekend of Saint Jordi, its Catalonia versus Madrid. It’s Barcelona against Atletico Madrid.
Out of our last 9 games of the season, this is probably going to be the most difficult. Atleti are in a remarkable vein of form right now. And in fact, that run started after our last game against them. We’re going to have to do everything we can to end it today. But its not going to be easy. Its a game and a result we’re going to have to fight for. This is by far one of our toughest tests.
We have got a huge boost ahead of the game however. As both Pedri and Frenkie are 100% fit and available. And that is absolutely massive in terms of the team. We’ve missed their control and creativity so much over the past few games. So it’ll be amazing to see them both back. Also, 15 year old wonder kid Lamine Yamal has been called up for the game by Xavi. So it’ll be very interesting to see if he gets any minutes at all.
A quick look at our opponents:
Like I’ve mentioned previously, Atleti are in an incredible run of form. And that’s been ever since our last game with them in January. Griezmann is having a renaissance season. He’s looking like the man who we were excited about singing 3-4 years ago. He’s the main man for atleti and is one of the sole reasons why they’ve had such an improvement over the last few months. He is definitely someone to keep an eye on. And as for the tram, we need to shutting him down as much as possible. As it goes with simeone teams, not only is the rest of the squad strong, but they’re going to be very difficult to break down. Which makes the return of Pedri and Frenkie even more pivotal for us.
When it comes to our lineup for the game, I think it almost picks itself. Christensen and Dembele are in the very final stages of their recovery, so they’ll hopefully be back sometime next week. Xavi confirmed that in yesterday’s press conference. Roberto picked up an injury against gestate, and he’s expected to be out for the rest of the season. That guarantees that Kounde will play at right back. And its expected that Alonso will partner Araujo in defence. With Balde back at left back.
In the midfield, I think we all know how that’s going to be. It is vital to have Pedri and Frenkie back in the starting lineup for this game. Of course it has to be because they’re at 100%. But if they are, then they both have to start. We have desperately missed their creativity, energy and control over the last few games. So having them back is huge for us.
With the Xavi 4 man box midfield back in action, that leaves two spots upfront. Of course one will be taken up by Lewandwoski. Who not only hasn’t played Atleti yet, but he’ll also be looking to getting back to scoring goals. He especially has missed Pedri and Dembele’s influence. So hopefully we’ll begin to see more of the real Robert Lewandowski soon. Its important that we do. That then leaves one more position upfront, and it’ll most likely be Raphinha who takes it. It could be Ansu. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see that. But I think it’ll most likely be the Brazilian.
My starting lineup:
Kounde- Araujo- Alonso- Balde
Pedri- Busquets- Frenkie- Gavi