Barcelona will be looking to get over their loss in the El Clasico against Real Madrid by defeating Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals first leg tie.
Barcelona suffered their first loss since October last year and it was against their bitter rivals Real Madrid. The loss had to hurt given the fact that it was at Camp Nou and the match was dedicated to the late legend Johan Cruyff. Despite the defeat, the Catalan giants still have a seven point lead over third placed Real Madrid in the La Liga.
Atletico Madrid on the other hand had a convincing 5-1 victory against Real Betis this weekend. The 2013-14 La Liga champions are presently six points behind leaders Barcelona and will be looking to keep fighting for the title until the end of the season.
The most important factor in the Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid tie will be counterattack. With a good solid defense, Atleti are known for their strength in counterattacking. However, Barcelona looks like a team from another planet at the moment and are also amazing on the counter.
Barca’s counter attacking threat was best viewed in the Champions League Round of 16 match against Arsenal. The Gunners were firmly in control of the tie and was predicted to score when about a minute later it was the brilliance of Messi, Neymar and Suarez (MSN) which helped Barcelona to score.
With the great trinity MSN who are dangerous on utilizing spaces on the field and picking up passes, Barcelona use their counterattacks like clockwork.
Despite not being as deadly as Barcelona, Atletico do have a solid counterattacking play. With Yannick Ferreira Carrasco being lethal on the wings, he is sure to give the Catalans a run for their money.
Barca has to keep Antoine Griezmann in check who seems to be having the form of his life. Fernando Torres also seems to have found his lost touch under the Atleti shirt. With Koke holding the spine of the team in midfield, Diego Simeone’s men must look to strike when Barcelona loses possession.
Despite this being the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal encounter, Atletico Madrid must ensure of not conceding more than one goal given the fact that they do not have the best of records for scoring this season. Barca on the other hand will be looking to finish off the tie by taking a handsome lead.
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