Barcelona - Atletico Madrid: Chasing pack aim to keep pace with Real
Image credit: UEFA

Barcelona will want to continue their resurgence when they welcome champions Atletico Madrid to the Nou Camp on Sunday.

The Catalan giants bounced back after their defeat to Real Sociedad last Sunday, with a 5-0 demolishing of Elche midweek in the Copa Del Rey. Despite that victory there are still rumours of unrest with star player Lionel Messi reportedly unhappy with the Luis Enrique regime and has been linked with a move to the Premier League. In spite of the unrest Barcelona are still only second in La Liga, just a point behind Real Madrid and have won 34 of their last 38 matches in the league.

Barcelona will face tough competition in Atletico, who have suffered defeat in just one of their last ten matches and their latest victory being a 2-0 win over rivals Real Madrid in mid-week. Diego Simeone’s side will have fond memories of Nou Camp where they secured their league title last season with a 1-1 draw and are currently undefeated in six matches against Barca and with their current state Simeone will believe that they are there for the taking.

Xavi looks a doubt for this match with a calf injury, but it was highly doubtful he would start in this clash anyway; defender Thomas Vermaelen still remains absent. Gerard Pique is expected to return to the starting XI while the trio of: Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar are expected to keep their places after the mid-week demolishing of Elche.

It will be similar side for Atletico that defeated Real midweek with Cristian Ansaldi and Cani the only absentees that Simeone has to deal with.