La Liga action heats up this weekend as first-place Barcelona pays a visit to Atletico Madrid. The visitors from Catalonia are the slimmest of favorites with a money line of +156. At home, Atletico is close behind at +168. There is also a money line of +216 for a draw.
Atletico Madrid heads into December sitting fourth in the table, but just three points off the pace of co-leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid. Los Rojiblancos have been a little sluggish recently, winning just two of their last six games in all competitions. That includes a road draw to Granada last weekend and a midweek loss to Juventus in Champions League.
Barcelona, on the other hand, as a slight edge in goal differential to put them ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga. They’ve also had some disappointing results over the last month, losing 3-1 to Levante in domestic play and settling for a scoreless draw with Slavia Prague in Champions League action.
However, Barca scored a 2-1 win over Leganes last weekend and took down Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, which should give them good confidence heading into the weekend. Let’s take a look at the latest Soccer Odds while making some predictions.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona 2019 La Liga Odds, Preview & Prediction
Goals, Goals, and More GoalsOutside of the scoreless draw with Slavia Prague earlier this month, Barcelona has scored multiple goals in nine of their last 10 competitive matches. Obviously, Lionel Messi is the man to watch, scoring eight goals in eight La Liga games. But Luis Suarez has been just as dangerous, netting seven goals in La Liga play this year.
Naturally, the key for Barca is getting production from other sources, especially against a team that plays high-level defense. Antoine Griezmann is still settling in at Barcelona and will have the pressure of facing his former team. Playmaker Frenkie de Jong is in a similar position, as he’s not yet found his best form. This is the kind of game where Barca needs at least one of those players to step up and make an impact. On the bright side, Ousmane Dembele is starting to become more involved and is a potential impact player.
Keep ‘Em OutTo no one’s surprise, Atletico Madrid has risen to the top-4 of the table in Spain on the back of their defense. Atletico is tied for the best defensive record in La Liga, conceding just nine goals in 14 games. That has enabled them to lose just one of those 14 games and should serve them well against Barcelona’s multi-faceted attack.
Of course, scoring goals has been a little bit of a struggle with Griezmann no longer at the club and Diego Costa sidelined by injury.
Alvaro Morata had been in a goal-scoring groove earlier this year, but he’s been held in check since the last international break. They don’t have many other options on the attack, so Atletico will have to find a way to manufacture scoring chances from midfield playmakers like Angel Correa.