Barca out to Keep Title Hopes Alive

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Second-placed Barcelona take on third-place Atletico Madrid in La Liga tonight.

Barcelona captain Messi adjusts his captain's armband

Barcelona must find a way to break down a well organised Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou on Tuesday if they are to stand any chance of retaining their title.

The Blaugrana were held to a draw for the second time in three games at Celta Vigo on Saturday, which has handed Real Madrid the advantage in the race for top spot.

Los Blancos, who beat Espanyol on Sunday, sit two points clear of Barcelona at the summit with six games left to play, while they also boast a superior head-to-head record.

Failure to return to winning ways on Catalan soil on Tuesday could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Barcelona..

For Atleti, it’s a tough situation to be in as they could potentially hand the title to their cross-city rivals Real Madrid.

But their form since the restart suggests they could land further frustration on Barcelona when they take to the field at the Camp Nou.

Atleti have won four and drawn one since the resumption of activities, keeping three clean sheets during that sequence, to climb up to third in the standings.

Catching Barcelona, who sit 11 points clear, looks highly unlikely but they are well on track to secure a top-three finish for an eighth successive season.

Possible Rift Between Players and Manager

Reports suggest there are major problems within the Barcelona camp with claims of a rift between players and manager Quique Setien.

Diego Simeone will hope his men can take advantage of that situation but the Argentinean is set to be without two key players.

Koke and Stefan Savic have been integral this term but they will miss out through suspension after picking up bookings in the win over Alaves.

Barcelona have Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets back from injury and suspension respectively, while Arthur has also been named in the matchday squad despite agreeing to join Juventus.

Barcelona priced at 20/23 and strong favourites for the win against Atletico.

Madrid Won the Most Recent Encounter

Simeone’s men prevailed in the most recent meeting with Barcelona, earning a 3-2 triumph in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup in January.

However, they haven’t picked up a league victory at Barcelona since 2006 when a brace from Fernando Torres helped to secure a 3-1 result.

Despite all the talk of Barcelona’s issues, they have yet to lose since the restart – drawing two and winning three.

On home soil they still look a force to be reckoned with, winning all but one game in the league this term – a goalless draw with Real – and they haven’t conceded in their last four outings at the Camp Nou.

A Barcelona win to nil, which is priced at 39/20, could be the way to go especially when considering they won the reverse fixture 1-0 and also kept a clean sheet when taking all three points in this clash last season.

Atletico have a fearsome reputation for being tight defensively, boasting the best defensive record in the league, and backing under 2.5 goals at 20/27 should certainly be considered.

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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