The stage is set for a monumental clash as FC Barcelona locks horns with Atlético de Madrid this Sunday, December 3rd, at the Estadi Olímpic Lluis Companys. Positioned at the pinnacle of LaLiga's 15th round, this encounter promises a thrilling showdown between two Spanish giants vying for dominance in the league.
Both teams enter the contest neck and neck in the standings, with FC Barcelona holding the fourth spot with 31 points and Atlético de Madrid in third, sharing the same points tally but with a game in hand.
In the lead-up to this crucial encounter, FC Barcelona has seen mixed fortunes, securing three wins, a draw, and a loss in their last five LaLiga outings. Meanwhile, Atlético de Madrid has maintained a formidable form, clinching victory in four of their recent league matches, enduring only a single defeat.
For the Catalan side, this match against Atlético de Madrid presents a pivotal opportunity to assert their authority in the league. Recent criticisms and subpar performances have placed Barcelona under scrutiny, elevating the significance of a triumph against one of Europe's most in-form teams. Despite Xavi's historical successes against Simeone's side, the current form of both teams renders a challenging task. Expect a fiercely contested battle on Catalan soil as both sides vie for supremacy.
A possible lineup, without Marc André ter Stegen
However, FC Barcelona will face a setback as Marc-André ter Stegen, their seasoned goalkeeper, will be unavailable due to an injury sustained during the German national team's camp. This absence opens the door for Iñaki Peña to potentially step into the starting lineup, aiming to fill the void left by Ter Stegen's unavailability.
According to reports from Sport, FC Barcelona's potential lineup includes Iñaki Peña; Ronald Araújo, Jules Koundé, Íñigo Martínez, Joao Cancelo; Ilkay Gündogan, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Raphinha, Lewandowski, and Joao Félix.
On the other side, Atlético de Madrid is anticipated to field a lineup featuring: Jan Oblak; José María Giménez, Axel Witsel, Mario Hermoso; Samuel Lino, De Paul, Koke, Saúl, Nahuel Molina; Griezmann, and Morata.
As the footballing world braces for this pivotal clash, all eyes will be on the Estadi Olímpic Lluis Companys, where Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid are set to engage in a battle that could significantly shape the course of LaLiga's title race.