Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Final – LIVE Football Reddit Score 6 Feb 2022
Barcelona started the new year on a positive note with two victories in two games, but failed to win any of their three subsequent matches (D1 L2). However, they did bounce back with a 1-0 triumph over Deportivo Alaves before heading into the two-week hiatus. The victory allowed them to close down the gap to the top four to just one point, and a win on Sunday could see the Catalans move into the Champions League qualifying spots.
Atletico Madrid, too, have a similar record to their weekend opponents in 2022. After coming out on top in their first two games of the new year, Los Rojiblancos drew one and lost two before returning to winning ways just before the break as they defeated Valencia 3-2 in a sensational comeback victory. Diego Simeone’s side are fourth in the table, just a point above Barça, and will need a win to strengthen their chances of a top-four finish.
The reverse fixture, played in October last year, saw Barcelona fall to a 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid, courtesy of first-half strikes from Luis Suarez and Thomas Lemar. Ahead of their latest meeting this weekend, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Barcelona have a lengthy injury list heading into this contest with as many as seven players ruled out. The likes of Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Eric Garcia, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Alejandro Balde are all missing. However, Xavi Hernandez will be able to call upon late January additions Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Meanwhile, contract rebel Ousmane Dembele has also been named in the squad by the manager despite reports claiming that the Frenchman could be banished from the first team for the rest of the season. The Barcelona boss is expected to set his team up in the usual 4-3-3 formation in front of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo, who is set to be a man in demand in the summer, will form the centre-back pairing to shield the German shot-stopper and keep out former Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez. Dani Alves, who has been omitted from the UEFA Europa League squad, should feature at right-back while fellow veteran Jordi Alba remains the obvious pick on the left side.
NAME: Barcelona – Atlético Madrid
DATE: 6 Feb 2022
TIME: 15:15 UTC
VENUE: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Sergio Busquets is a guaranteed starter at the base of the Barcelona midfield unit from where he will look to thwart Atletico Madrid’s attempts to counterattack and help his team stay on the front foot. Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are expected to occupy the remaining two midfield slots and provide the forward thrust and creativity. Gavi and Nico Gonzalez will be options from the bench.
Dembele is expected to feature from kick-off on Sunday afternoon despite his situation. The Frenchman will occupy one of the flanks while Ferran Torres should also get the nod in the wide areas. Spearheading the attack for the Blaugrana should be Aubameyang, while Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore provide cover from the bench.
Atletico Madrid will have to make do without the services of Marcos Llorente, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Antoine Griezmann for the trip to Camp Nou, with the trio missing out because of injuries. New signings Daniel Wass and Reinildo Mandava are named in the travelling squad.
Diego Simeone will set his team up in his preferred 4-4-2 setup, with two banks of four protecting the goalkeeper. The midfielders will have the job to press their opponents intensely to try and force turnovers and launch counterattacks. Jan Oblak, who has had a difficult season so far, will need to be at his best to deny Barcelona.
Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez ought to pair up at the heart of the Atleti defence and try to shackle Aubameyang, while new signing Wass is expected to slot right in at right-back. However, Mario Hermoso should get the nod on the left side of the defence, with Reinildo likely to be held back.
The onus of winning the midfield battle will be on captain Koke and summer signing Rodrigo De Paul, who will look to stifle Barcelona’s runners Pedri and de Jong. The responsibility of supplying the chances for the strikers ought to be taken up by the two wingers Yannick Carrasco and Thomas Lemar. They will also need to to track back and help out the full-backs defensively.
Xavi’s side are also outside of the Champions League spots, currently sitting fifth in the division, but they are only one point behind Atletico and five behind third-placed Real Betis with a game in hand.
Barcelona are unbeaten in La Liga since the start of December and have won three of their last five, including a 1-0 success over Alaves before the break, with Frenkie de Jong scoring the only goal of the contest in the final exchanges to secure a huge three points.
The Catalan outfit also enjoyed a successful January transfer window, adding Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore, but the club were unable to shift Ousmane Dembele, with the Frenchman remaining at the club despite widespread speculation.
Barcelona have not actually beaten Atletico in the league since December 2019, losing two of the last three meetings, including a 2-0 defeat in the reverse match at Wanda Metropolitano back in October, while the points were shared in a goalless draw at Camp Nou last season.
Atletico, meanwhile, have also struggled to show their best form this season, collecting 36 points from 21 matches, which has left them in fourth position in the table.
The reigning champions are 14 points behind leaders Real Madrid and recently lost four league matches in a row, but they have recovered to take seven points from the last nine available in Spain’s top flight.
Atletico, who will take on Manchester United in the knockout round of the Champions League, have actually lost two of their last three matches in all competitions, but the capital giants recorded a 3-2 victory over Valencia in the league last time out, with Diego Simeone’s side scoring twice in the final moments to turn the game around.
Indeed, the Red and Whites trailed 2-1 heading into the final minute of normal time against Los Che, but Angel Correa levelled before Mario Hermoso came up with a 93rd-minute winner in the five-goal thriller.
Atletico have not been able to launch a strong defence of their title, but it is impossible to imagine them finishing outside of the top four, and there is simply no downplaying the importance of this contest, with both managers hoping to secure what would be a huge three points.