Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid LIVE
Venue: Camp Nou
Kick-off: 7:45pm GMT, today
Barcelona can take a giant step towards sealing their latest LaLiga title tonight as they face closest challengers Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.
Ernesto Valverde’s Barca head into the mammoth clash eight points ahead of Diego Simeone’s side after fighting back to earn an incredible 4-4 at Villarreal in midweek.
Atletico managed to whittle down the deficit courtesy of a 2-0 win over Girona as Antoine Griezmann ended a run of seven matches without scoring.
The visitors will know that they surely have to beat the Blaugrana again today in order to stand any chance of lifting the title in May.
Follow Barcelona vs Atletico LIVE at Camp Nou with Ben Hayward!
43 mins: Messi’s eyes light up as he breaks free on the edge of the box but his rushed effort rolls into the grateful arms of Oblak, who has earned his money in the Atletico goal tonight.
41 mins: Coutinho has received his fair share of criticism since his move to the Camp Nou but it feels like the crowd have noticed his work rate and input tonight.
He would be on the scoresheet tonight had it not been for Oblak.
38 mins: Atletico are just looking a bit nervy at the back now after a short backpass from Filipe Luis. Suarez tries to backheel it into the path of Messi but the away side scramble it away.
27 mins: Stunning save from Oblak!
That was the moment for Coutinho to endear himself to the Camp Nou crowd.
He strikes it towards the bottom corner and must think he’s scored, but Oblak gets a strong hand to it and somehow keeps it out. Incredible stop!
23 mins: Rodri pulls down Messi on the edge of the box and that’s not where you want to give the Argentinian a chance to score from. Fortunately, he puts too much power on it and it’s about a few feet over the bar.
21 mins: Griezmann fires at ter Stegen!
The Frenchman is sent down the right hand side and he’s got a clear sight of goal, so he tries his luck from an acute angle, but Ter Stegen looks comfortable.
That was a decent opportunity for the visitors.
19 mins: Just when Atleti look like they’re starting to build an attack, Barca break incisively on the counter.
Suarez tries to pick out Messi but finds Godin in the way. The ball flicks up kindly for the striker and he decides to volley it, but it sails over the bar.
16 mins: Brilliant move from Atletico as Griezmann feeds in Koke. He slips it out right to Arias who is unmarked but by the time he pulls the trigger, Coutinho gets back to make a timely block.
14 mins: POST! Alba so close!
What a pass from Lionel Messi.
We shouldn’t be surprised but this guy is just another level. He spots the run of the pacey wing-back and executes the through ball to perfection. Alba’s first touch was golden, but when he tried to lift it over Oblak, it bounces back off the post and Atleti clear!
12 mins: Coutinho finds Suarez with a delightful chip over Godin but the Uruguayan’s touch is heavy and it’s out for a goal kick.
9 mins: Atletico show their intent to attack for the first time tonight and it’s a decent delivery from the left by Filipe Luis, which is headed over by Costa.
Just a bit too high for him there.
8 mins: Diego Costa is well trained in the dark arts as we know and the Spain striker makes his presence known during a tussle with Lenglet. No card shown on this occasion, but the Barca defender might be looking for revenge after that.
5 mins: Barcelona are controlling possession early on while Atletico look quite happy to sit deep and defend.
What’s Spanish for “status quo”?
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Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid team news and predicted line-ups
Barcelona will be without Ousmane Dembele, who could also miss the trip to Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League next week.
Second-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is back in training after a calf problem, but Rafinha (knee) remains out and Arturo Vidal is suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season against Villarreal.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur, Coutinho, Messi, Suarez
Atletico’s Chelsea loanee Alvaro Morata is a major doubt to face Barcelona after spraining his ankle against Girona, while Diego Costa is struggling with a hamstring tear.
Thomas Lemar is expected to miss another fortnight as the result of a thigh injury and the Bayern Munich-bound Lucas Hernandez will not play again this season.
Atletico XI: Oblak, Arias, Gimenez, Godin, Juanfran, Rodri, Koke, Thomas, Niguez, Griezmann, Kalinic
Score prediction: Barcelona 3-2 Atletico
Barcelona were on a run of seven straight wins across all competitions before that epic game against Villarreal, while miserly Atletico have conceded only two league goals since February.
The hosts should get the win they need to move 11 points clear with seven games left to play, though expect it to be anything other than straightforward.
TV channel and live stream online coverage
Fans can watch the match online on Eleven Sports through iOS mobile and tablet apps as well as Android mobile, or on TV via Premier Sports.
You can also follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.