PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP via Getty Images Pictured: Luis Suarez (center-left) celebrates a goal with his Atletico Madrid teammates

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Atletico Madrid are set to potentially reach the top of the La Liga table and extend their lead over Barcelona by nine points on Saturday

Barcelona got off to an incredibly slow start and find themselves in eighth place in the table It’s really early in the season, but the Spanish giants can’t afford to lose any more points or Atletico and Real Madrid could create too big a gap to overcome

Atletico have been solid so far in La Liga as they are undefeated in their opening seven games They have also conceded just two goals so far this season, so Diego Simeone is playing his squad exactly as he wishes Atletico have struggled with Barcelona over the years as they are winless in their last 20 tries

Simeone’s Atletico Madrid team play a different style of football than other top European clubs Simeone values ​​defensive perfection over a high-powered attack For years “Los Colchoneros” has been the hardest defense to break in Europe

By keeping eight players behind the ball, Atletico creates a defensive wall that works in unison to prevent the opposing team from playing in the center or between the lines This forces opponents to play through wide areas to access the penalty area

Dating back to the reboot in June, Atletico only allowed 087 xGA per 90 minutes in their carded 4-4-2 last season In fact, they’ve been so good their xGA is the highest score in the five big European leagues

Atletico are undefeated in their last 15 La Liga home games and have conceded just seven goals in those games

By their standards Barcelona haven’t been their usual dominant personality this season They only have a 42 xGD to start the season, which is the fifth best in La Liga In fact, Barca have already lost 8 points in their first seven matches, which is almost unheard of for a team led by Lionel Messi

Barca’s main problems come from the supporting cast of Messi Messi has tried to put Barca on the back, scoring or assisting on 50% of their goals since last season’s restart To make matters worse for Barcelona, ​​their 17-year-old sensation Ansu Fati is out for the next four months with a knee injury

Another big problem is that much of the help Messi has received in recent years has been from Luis Suarez, who is now on the other side of the pitch Without a lot of help it’s hard to see how Barcelona will score on the best European defense

I think Atletico’s defensive wall is going to be able to shut down Messi & Co Atletico’s offense hasn’t been a joke either, averaging 206 xG per game so far this La Liga campaign

I don’t think Atletico Madrid should be an underdog in this game given how well they have started the season Therefore, I will be backing the home side on the draw line without a 114 bet

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World news – United States – La Liga odds & choice: Atletico’s defense against Messi returns & Co

Source: https://www.actionnetwork.com/general/la-liga-odds-picks-betting-predictions-atletico-madrid-vs-barcelona-saturday-nov-21