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Atletico, Barca in last ever meeting at Vicente Calderón

La Liga By: Collins Udeme | 26/02/2017

Atletico, Barca in last ever meeting at Vicente Calderón

Lionel Messi's Barcelona face Antoine Griezmann's Atletico Madrid on Sunday in what will be the last ever meeting between the two teams at the Vicente Calderón.

A crucial three points are at stake for both sides and for the visitors, maximum points would be enough to take them to the top of the table temporarily as they push for the league title defense.

Reports emerged in the wake of Barca’s 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the month that Enrique had lost the confidence of his players, but the manager who claims his dressing room “has been united for as long as I’ve been here” will hope his lads deliver on Sunday.

Team news

Luis Enrique announced his 18-man squad after the final training session before the game, where it was revealed that Arda Turan, Javier Mascherano and Aleix Vidal would miss out through injury. Jordi Masip also failed to make the cut but for technical reasons.

Los Colchoneros have been boosted by the return of defender Diego Godín to the squad, who had been out since picking up an injury the return leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals against Barça at the Camp Nou earlier this month.

Head to Head

Sunday’s encounter will be the fourth between the pair this season. Barca recently knocked Atlético out of the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage with a 3-2 aggregate win, while the league meeting at Camp Nou earlier in the campaign ended in a 1-1 draw.

In the eleven battles since Luis Enrique took over as manager, Lionel Messi and his gang have won seven, lost just once and two have ended in stalemates.

Current form

Barcelona have won their last three league matches in a row and are undefeated in La Liga since early October.

In what has been a demanding start to the new year, the Catalans have won five of their seven league games in 2017, with the two draws coming away from home at Villarreal and Real Betis.

Atletico have also won their last three games in La Liga, as well as also having a record of five wins and two draws from their seven league games in 2017.

Managers' quotes

Diego Simeone - Atletico boss

"they remain the best team in the world” while about his own team sitting in fourth place said “there is plenty of La Liga still to play."

Luis Enrique - Barcelona manager

"There are many league matches to play. It is clear that it is difficult to win matches, and it is the case for all teams. Our objective is to play a good game and win the three points."

On the reported that he Enrique had lost the confidence of his players, the coach added that could not be further from the truth.

"The dressing room has always been united for as long as I’ve been here,” he said at a Press conference.

"When a Coach stops working for a club, there are two pieces of news: one that’s sad for the Coach who leaves and one that’s happy for the Coach who arrives."