Samuel Umtiti and Antoine Griezmann is one to look out for.
Barcelona were formerly seen as runaway leaders in La Liga, but with some results not going their way in recent times, the Catalan giants have a formidable title rival in Atletico Madrid.
It is in this light that Sunday’s La Liga clash at the Camp Nou is of high importance and the outcome could determine where the pendulum of the title might swing.
Though Barcelona and Atletico have formidable teams, there are some key battles that could influence the outcome of Sunday’s crunch La Liga clash.
Gerard Pique vs Diego Costa
Having been rested in the game against Las Palmas, Pique knows he would have his handful against Diego Costa.
Costa has always will be beast-like in his approach and Pique will need to be at his best not to allow the former Chelsea man to continue in his superb goalscoring form.
Costa has netted 5 times and provided 2 assists in 10 games in all competitions.
Costa’s finishing ability will be a major threat. Since both are well-built, Pique will have to make sure he wins when it comes to aerial duels and physical tackles in order to stop his countryman.
Samuel Umtiti vs Antoine Griezmann
This a duel of the French connection.
With Griezmann seemingly back to his best; scoring 7 goals in two games, Umititi will have to have his eyes wide open or else his compatriot may wreak havoc at Camp Nou.
Griezmann has never scored against the Catalans at the Nou Camp; a positive fact for Umtiti to keep in mind.
Among other things Umititi will have to watch out for Griezmann’s blistering pace which sees him free space to take long shots.
Luis Suarez vs Jose Gimenez
With both Lucas Hernandez and Stefan Savic doubtful for the clash, there will be a mighty responsibility for the young shoulders of Jose Gimenez as Diego Simeone’s men visit the Nou Camp.
The 23-year-old centre-back is expected to come up against countryman Luis Suarez in the crucial fixture.
Gimenez expectedly knows Suarez but the craftiness of the Barcelona forward can still make way for him in the tightest of positions.
No doubt, winning this face-off could prove to be decisive for both men and their respective clubs.
Lionel Messi vs Diego Godin
In the clash against Atletico, Messi has his work well cut out against the Atletico Madrid skipper, Diego Godin.
Many will not envy Godin’s duty in Sunday’s game as holding Messi is one of the hardest task possible.
It even gets hard as based on logistic, Messi’s second favourite team when it comes to scoring goals is Atletico Madrid.
He has netted 27 times in all competitions against Los Colchoneros.
Whether the Argentine will add more to his tally on Sunday could be determined by Godin
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen vs Jan Oblak
The importance of the two goalkeepers for Barcelona and Atletico in Sunday’s La Liga duel cannot be overemphasised
While the two teams will showcase a number of stars on the outfield, the pressure and how the goalkeepers handle same during the 90 minutes will be of great importance.
Ter Stegen and Jan Oblak have got equally tough battles to face.
There are a number of dangerous attackers both have to be wary of, either could emerge as the deciding factor from Sunday’s game.
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