The first final of the League

Carrasco is measured with Ter Stegen in the duel of the first round.

In the absence of four days for its conclusion, four teams separated by six points and the first three only by two, a good part of the League is decided this weekend at the Camp Nou and Valdebebas, the two scenarios in which the involved in the title dispute: Barça-Atlético (this Saturday, 4.15pm, Movistar LaLiga) and Real Madrid-Sevilla (Sunday, 9.00pm, Movistar LaLiga). The result of the Barcelona game will determine that of Madrid. And is that if the Catalans beat the rojiblancos, a result they need to maintain their candidacy, they will cause the title to depend on the Madridistas, for the same reason that an Atlético victory at the Camp Nou would reinforce their status as leader and dominator. of this championship.

The last time Atlético won the League was in 2014 after drawing at the Camp Nou with a goal from Godín. He was also champion in the 1995-1996 season, when a break from Caminero to Nadal illustrated his hierarchy over Barça in the League and in the Cup in Cruyff’s last year. Both teams competed equally in the 1976-77 season, famous for the beer that Luiz Pereira drank at the Bernabéu, and in 1972-1973. History assures that it is good for the rojiblancos to face Barça when the League is at stake. In favor of his inventory, they concur that, as in 2014, his coach is Simeone and the referee will also be Mateu Lahoz, the same one who annulled a valid goal for Messi.

The difference is that the imposing team at the start of the championship has lost gas in the last section – it adds 26 out of 45 points – and the expectation generated by Koeman’s Barcelona in a transition year has nothing to do with the absenteeism experienced in times by Tata Martino. The Catalans, already Cup champions, are encouraged by their revenge and the fever point precisely of their captain Messi, top scorer with 28 goals, a meeting point for young and veteran Barcelona players and still a reference in the world of football after a difficult week for Mbappé and Neymar, for not remembering Cristiano Ronaldo or Haaland. There is no doubt about the offensive power of Barcelona: 80 goals in the league.

Barça’s weak point are his concessions, the ease with which he concedes goals (33 in 34 days), portrayed by a fearsome statistic: he has received nine goals in the last 14 shots, counting the last day at Mestalla (2-3). They are not quite a reliable team due to the imbalances in their rear and in front they will have a fearsome scoring pair: Luis Suárez (19) and Llorente (12). The figure of the Uruguayan has been used to explain the exchange of roles between Barça and Atlético. The Uruguayan, a close friend of Messi, will be honored at the stadium after his bad departure from Barça. Simeone needs Luis Suárez to be Niño Torres, the striker who scored the last Atletico victory at the Camp Nou, in 2006.

And it is that unlike internal occasions the tie may not now be a good result for Atlético due to the stalking of Madrid. The rojiblanco coach must therefore refine with the line-up, aware in any case that players like Carrasco or Correa tend to be unbalanced in duels with Barça. On the other hand, Griezmann plays in favor of the Catalans, a player who without ceasing to be supportive has gone on to score decisive goals in recent days (12 in total), unstoppable in 2021, substitute for Luis Suárez as Messi’s partner – the Argentine takes part in 48% of the so many of the Barcelona—.

The Catalans need their figures and their energy to copera in a peak moment after having defeated the greats – with Atlético and Madrid themselves – and in decisive moments, such as when they lost with Granada when they aspired to take the lead. The last chance is presented precisely to the best positioned in the table and with Madrid waiting.

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