Barcelona vs Athletico Madrid 04/01/2014 Free UEFA Champions League Soccer Pick and Preview
Athletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Tuesday 1st April 2014 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Barcelona 1/2 Draw 7/2 Athletico Madrid 13/2 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports; NBC ; Fox Sports
A quick turn around in the fortunes of the team has left Barcelona in second place in La Liga and having won five in a row now. Lionel Messi has suddenly come alive again and is catching both Diego Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo in the scoring front, becoming the first Barcelona player to ever score a hat trick at the Bernebeau two games ago. Barcelona are one of the favourites for the competition but this tie is definitely one of the ones to watch. Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas have been ably assisting Messi in this fine run the team has been on, as has the big money signing Neymar who's diving is irreplaceable and match winning at the moment. Until such time as UEFA or FIFA come out with bans for divers though we the viewing public will have to put up with Neyar going to ground like he is shot every time a player attempts to tackle him. Barcelona have suffered a bad injury to goalkeeper Victor Valdes who tore a cruciate ligament two games ago and his leadership and ability to lead from the back will be missed tomorrow.
Athletico Madrid are in bonus territory, Diego Simeone's team have performed above and beyond what was expected of them this term. Top of the league, with a Champions League Quarter Final as well. Its dream land for Athletico fans and a mouthwatering two game tie against Barcelona will be savoured by all. With Diego Costa on fire having score in each of his last five games, six goals in total and second in the goalscoring charts in Spain with twenty five strikes this year. Athletico as a team are almost a carbon copy of their manager, tough with a good work ethic and a real competitive streak. Athletico Madrid are a real team one to eleven they work hard for each other and tomorrow could be a real clash of styles but fun to watch.
This one of all the ties seems the most evenly balanced to me and I think tomorrow will be a war of attrition. I dont think Simone will go to the Nou Camp and try to play an expansive game. I think Athletico will arrive in Barcelona and set out to defend and hit Barcelona on the break. I think Barcelona will get it hard to break down Athletico Madrid I like the price on the draw here 7/2 jut seems to big and I'm going to take it. One of the really tough games to call but the price is right to go with the draw. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo