Barcelona vs Atletico MadridLa Liga, KO: 21:00 Jun 30, 2020, Camp Nou
BARCELONA can ill-afford another slip up in their title defence when they welcome Atletico Madrid to the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
A late collapse at Celta Vigo on Saturday saw the Spanish giants drop two precious points in their pursuit of a third-consecutive La Liga crown.
Saturday's setback represented Barcelona's second draw across their last three league fixtures and fierce rivals Real Madrid have since seized the title-race initiative by moving two points clear at the summit.
However, Barcelona will be presented with the opportunity to leapfrog their old foes on Tuesday night – at least temporarily – if they can overcome a stubborn Atletico Madrid outfit.
Diego Simeone's side have taken maximum points from each of their last four La Liga outings and have subsequently tightened their grip on third-place in the Spanish top-flight.
The capital club are notorious for being set up to be compact and difficult to breakdown and this looks like being a crucial test of Barcelona's title credentials.
Atletico Madrid, despite being in the midst of a 12 match unbeaten run, are big outsiders on Tuesday night at 10/3 with UniBet.
This fixture represents Barcelona's toughest test since the restart and Quique Setien's side will have to work hard if they are to make it nine league wins on the spin at the Camp Nou.
It may come as a surprise to learn that there have been under 2.5 goals scored in Barcelona's last three La Liga assignments at this venue and that will suit Simeone and Co who are masters at defensive resilience.
Atleti go into this clash off the back of three shutouts in four and five of the last six meetings between these two sides have featured less than three strikes.
Indeed, a repeat on Tuesday night takes appeal at 4/5 with Bet 365, however, I'm going to opt for an alternative angle by making use of Bet 365's Bet Builder feature to combine under five match goals alongside over two Atletico Madrid cards at 5/6 (bet 365)
Of the 10 fixtures that these two heavyweights have contested since the restart only one match from that sample has generated five match goals and I'm happy to side with a repeat here along with three or more cards for Simeone's troops.
I wouldn't normally back any team to collect at least three cards in any given match but I'm happy to make an exception on a night where I full expect the men from Madrid to compete aggressively.
What's more, Spanish referees have not been holding back when it comes to getting the book out and it's also worth noting that Atleti have clocked up at least three cards in each of their last four La Liga matches, all of which were against inferior opposition.
I'm also mindful of the fact that Atletico Madrid will be without suspended key-duo Koke and Stefan Savic which will inevitably lead to a reshuffle and that line of thought has also lured me towards the 5/6 (Bet 365) for Barcelona to overcome a -1 start on the corner handicap.
Barcelona, despite possessing a wealth of attacking talent, are not a side who regularly chalk up high corner kick counts, however, I'm happy to back the hosts to beat a -1 handicap here given that they're in must-win territory coupled with Simeone's defensive-minded blueprint.
If the visitors can keep this contest tight on Tuesday night then I could see Barcelona racking up plenty of shots and crosses which in turn should see the hosts accumulate a few corners when trying to breakthrough Simeone's well-schooled side.
This La Liga match between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will be played on Jun 30, 2020 and kick off at 21:00. Check below for our tipsters best Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid prediction.