Terry Gibson's La Liga Betting: Stubborn Atletico Can Blunt Out Barca


Barcelona - Atletico Madrid - Saturday 15.00 GMT

This is a huge game for both teams who are locked together at the top of the table with 48 points each, although Barcelona do have a game in hand away at Sporting Gijon. Therefore it is critical that Atletico do not lose here.

It's now five La Liga clean sheets on the trot for Diego Simeone's side, and Diego Godin & co are going to have to be in top form to deny Barca's famous MSN forward line.

Atletico haven't won in this stadium since 2006, which is pre Simeone of course, and I think a victory will once again be beyond them. However they are capable of a draw, and they are definitely in with a shout of keeping a clean sheet.

I think because Simeone knows the importance of not losing, we will see an ultra defensive tactical set up to cope with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. I don't expect to see two strikers for Atletico, I think he will go with a 4-3-3 set up and maybe Antoine Griezmann playing slightly wider than normal. It is surely time for Jackson Martinez to step up and lead the line, although he hasn't shown any form so far this season. In all honesty the 4-3-3 will be more like a 4-5-1 as they look for the draw.

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - Copa del Rey : News Photo

There won't be any surprises in store from Barca's Luis Enrique, and if all are fit and healthy I presume it will be the so called "Gala Team". That is Claudio Bravo plus the 10 outfield players who started the Champions League Final versus Juventus last June. There will be no concessions tactically and nor should there be from Barca, who will play the three up front plus both full backs playing very high up the field overloading the final third of the pitch, where most of the play will be. Jordi Alba is a doubt through injury and it will be interesting to see who could take his place out of Adriano, Jeremy Mathieu or maybe Sergi Roberto.

I can't wait for this game and I am looking forward especially to the duel between the two Uruguayans, Suarez and Godin.

Barca are going to have to be patient and Atletico will be very stubborn.

I reckon that will be enough for a point, and for the first time this season I'm going to predict a 0-0.

Terry’s Tip 

A 0-0 draw – 10.50