Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid: Barca to edge top of table clash
Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid in a top of the table clash in La Liga, with just five points between the two sides. Infogol’s Analyst previews the big game, using expected goals to generate the best bets.
Barcelona Expected Goals (xG)
Barcelona have been in command of La Liga since the first week, and remain unbeaten in the league after 26 matches this season. Ernesto Valverde’s side have been very impressive so far this season, and have been the best team in the league.
They were fortunate in midweek though to gain a point against La Palmas, a game in which they were uncharacteristically sloppy in defence, conceding a lot of good chances (xG: LAS 1.9 – 1.3 BAR).
Having generated 71.6 xG in 26 matches, they are really dangerous and very consistent with their chance creation, generating an average of 2.8 xG per game. They will create chances in this game, even against such a good defensive unit.
Atletico Madrid Expected Goals (xG)
Atletico Madrid themselves are having a very good season, and have only lost one game in the league so far. They have been on a great run of late, winning their last six matches in the league and have done it in some style too.
They have been much more expressive of late also, with Diego Simeone opting for a more youthful and attacking team in recent weeks. They have hit nine in their last two outings, putting five past Sevilla and four past Leganes – racking up 6.6 xG in the process, a far cry from the Atleti earlier this season.
Antoine Griezmann, coveted by Barcelona, has scored ten goals in his last seven league games, and has linked up well with Diego Costa since his return, with both key players for Atletico.
Atletico haven’t actually been as impressive in defence this season, and while they have only conceded 11 goals in 26 matches, they should have conceded much more (29.3 xG). They may find themselves outgunned in this match.
Barcelona are the strongest team in La Liga this season, and they are expected to win this game and put one hand firmly on the title. Atletico will make life tough for them though, so few goals are expected.
Barcelona to win @ 3/4
Under 2.5 Goals @ 9/10