What: Spanish La Liga
Who: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
When: Sunday 12th May, 2013, at 18:00 UK Time
Where: Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain

Other Meeting in Mind

Atletico Madrid welcome league leaders Barcelona to the Vicente Calderon knowing that Barcelona are now the Spanish champions. The Mattress Makers are amongst the best sides at home in the league, with fourteen wins in seventeen games. However, facing a determined Barcelona side will be hard for Diego Simeone’s men. With a meeting in the Copa del Rey final taking place between Real Madrid and themselves taking place in a week’s time, Simeone might be tempted to rest some of his key men, especially since the side have guaranteed third place.

There is no doubt that last season’s Europa League winners will be facing a tough task, according to Koke, who highlighted the toughness of their adversaries. “I see Barcelona as they have always been: Very good. They have [Lionel] Messi, who we know is the best in the world. He has won four Ballon d’Or trophies, and does his talking on the pitch. For Barcelona he is very important. The other day [against Real Betis], he had a great game and that was important for them."

Diego Simeone will be happy with the fact that all of his players have left the treatment room. The former Argentina international will want them all to be fit in time for the Copa del Rey final.


Barcelona are La Liga champions for the 22nd time in the club’s history after Real Madrid drew with Espanyol. Having exited the Champions League in abysmal fashion at the hands of Bayern Munich, the Blaugrana made up for it by winning the title. However, the party could be spoiled by Atletico Madrid, who managed to qualify directly for next term’s Champions League after assuring third place in the standings with a win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday night.

The Blaugrana are the best side on the road this league edition, winning twelve of their seventeen games away from the Camp Nou, but midfielder Thiago has warned that his side will face a tough team in Atletico Madrid. “The Calderon is never an easy place to go to and win. Atletico Madrid are in next year’s Champions League and they are through to the cup final. There’s still plenty of time for them to focus on that final and I am sure they will give us a very tough game."

The four-time Champions League winners are no strangers to wins at the Vicente Calderon, having won three times during their last six visits to the Spanish capital, including the corresponding fixture last season.

Recent form

Atletico Madrid:
FK Baku 0-3 Atletico Madrid (30/04; Friendly)
Deportivo La Coruna 0-0 Atletico Madrid (04/05; La Liga)
Celta Vigo 1-3 Atletico Madrid (08/05; La Liga)

Athletic Bilbao 2-2 Barcelona (27/04; La Liga)
Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich (01/05; Champions League)
Barcelona 4-2 Real Betis (05/05; La Liga)

Key absences

Atletico Madrid: None

Barcelona: Javier Mascherano (doubt); Victor Valdes (doubt); Carles Puyol

Players to watch

Atletico Madrid – Thibaut Courtois: The young Belgian shot-stopper will have a hard week ahead of him as he faces both Barcelona and Real Madrid. One of the best emerging custodians in Europe today, a good showing at home will be crucial ahead of the team’s trip to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona – Lionel Messi: The Catalan side have shown Messi-dependence lately more than ever. With the Argentine, they are a completely different side. Messi will want to help his side celebrate the league title with a breathtaking display in the Spanish capital.

Match Prediction

Atletico Madrid will relish their chances of facing Barcelona on their own ground, but the fact of the matter is that the visiting side will be even more motivated as celebrations will be waiting for them in Catalonia. Expect Los Cules to win the game. Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona.

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