Barcelona v Atletico Madrid: Champions League match preview

A look ahead to Tuesday night’s quarter-final first leg fixture at the Nou Camp

This promises to be an intriguing tie, with Atletico Madrid going into Tuesday’s first-leg clash one point clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga. Both sides have been in excellent form of late - Atletico winning their last six games in all competitions, Barcelona their last five.

The form of Lionel Messi has, as is so often the case, been key during that period - he has scored nine times, including back-to-back hat-tricks against Osasuna and Real Madrid. Messi has 36 goals in all competitions this season, but hasn’t netted against Atletico in his last four outings.

While Barcelona have scored 17 times in their last five games, the underpinning of Atletico’s consistent run has been their defence. Simeone’s side have kept four clean sheets out of six, conceding just two goals during that period.

Both teams have impressed in their run to the last eight. Barca, chasing a seventh straight semi-final appearance, progressed comfortably beyond Manchester City, while Atletico’s convincing 4-1 victory against Milan at Vicente Calderon - spearheaded by the prolific Diego Costa - was a further reminder of the vast talent in Simeone’s ranks. Atletico kept a clean sheet in the first leg at San Siro and keeping Messi et al out here is likely to be vital if they are to reach their first European Cup semi-final in 40 years. 

 

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Atletico Madrid 0 Barcelona 0, La Liga, January 2014

Barcelona 0 Atletico Madrid 0, Spanish Super Cup, August 28, 2013

Atletico Madrid 1 (David Villa) Barcelona 1 (Neymar), Spanish Super Cup, August 21, 2013

 

STATS…

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Atletico Madrid in all competitions, winning six and drawing three.

Atletico have not lost in the Champions League this season (won seven, drawn one).

Barcelona have reached the semi-final stage of the tournament in each of the last six years, winning the trophy in 2009 and 2011.

Tuesday’s visitors currently occupy top spot in La Liga, one point ahead of Barcelona – with Atletico travelling to Nou Camp on the last day of the league season.

Atletico have conceded just four goals in the Champions League this season, the fewest in the competition.

The sides have never met in the Champions League before.

 

ODDS…

Barcelona to win: 1.55

Atletico Madrid to win: 5.8

Draw: 4.2

 

CLASSIC MATCH

Atletico Madrid 4-3 Barcelona, March 1, 2009

Sergio Aguero struck an 89th-minute winner to secure victory for Atletico in a thrilling game at Vicente Calderon. Thierry Henry’s first-half brace had put Barcelona in control and, though Diego Forlan and Aguero struck either side of the break, Lionel Messi restored the visitors’ advantage after 73 minutes. But Forlan levelled from the spot before Aguero won it late on to cap a thrilling comeback.

 

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride