Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona | Saturday 2nd October 2021, 20:00 | La Liga TV
Two giants of La Liga clash in the capital in unfamiliar circumstances as Atleti host Barca in the evening kick off as big favourites to pile the pain on Ronald Koeman whose job is under serious scrutiny.
Whilst looking at the current predicament Barca are in and taking into account the two 3-0 defeats they have taken to Benfica and Bayern I have found an alternative angle in the game to look over.
Koeman will be under pressure to deliver any positive result on Sunday evening and with that in mind he will look to enforce a possession-based approach to the encounter trying to lure Atleti into traps and create the spaces required. The return of De Jong in midfield and the potential for young star Ansu Fati to return will be a welcome boost and they will add to Memphis, Busquets, Pedri and Coutinho in what will be a creative line up.
Barca will look to make amends and look to use their possession to draw fouls and frustrate Atleti who have at times seem to have falling into their old ways of needless fouls and unprofessional behaviour. The longer Barca frustrate in a game where Atleti are in the unusual position of heavy favourites with their own fans behind them the heat will begin to hit them.
I expect a close encounter and either way Atleti will do all in their approach to do anything to win or lose their way if things don’t go there way.
When looking at the discipline stats of both Atlei are #1 for cards this season picking up 28 yellows and 2 reds in 7 games, the key to this is the breakdown of how the cards happened. Only 15 of these have been actual fouls with the rest being deemed either unprofessional or petulant behaviour. This seems to be how they want to go about their games this season, a trending approach for Simeones men.
When looking at their opponents whilst not high flying and losing their scoring touch they still dominate games from a technical perspective with a #2 in La Liga for drawn fouls at 16.8 a game and a league high #1 for possession averaging 68.4% with 88% accuracy of passing.
As you can expect from the H2Hs most have been close with no more than a goal separating them in the last 5 games. Once we look into cards it reflects the following:
Card outcomes last 5
- Barca 3-3 Atleti
- Atleti 4-0 Barca
- Barca 3-5 Atleti
- Barca 3-3 Atleti
- Atleti 4-4 Barca
In summary of the above I have found a value play on Bet365 where we are covered if the cards finish level, this seems generous giving the contrasting style of play we have seen from both sides this season.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona – Atletico Madrid 0.0 Asian Card Handicap (4/5 Bet365)