REMEMBER Terry Gibson? Well, we've signed him and while he won't be kicking a football he'll be looking into his crystal ball and bringing us his best Spanish tips every week.
The ex-Spurs, Coventry and Manchester United striker is probably best remembered for his time as part of the infamous Wimbledon Crazy Gang side of the late 80s and early 90s. Now an expert in all things La Liga he works as a pundit and co-commentator on Sky Sports’ Spanish football coverage and is a contributor to unibet.
Here are Terry's tips for two the big title clash on Sunday.
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid (3.15pm)
I wonder if Diego Simeone sees this as the last chance to genuinely get back into the title race? I’m hoping for the sake of the game he does.
It will be interesting to see if he still thinks a draw would be a decent result after Barcelona dropped points against Las Palmas and then aim to continue to be consistent for the rest of the season in the hope that Barcelona do slip up again along the way.
Despite Atletico showing more flare in recent games and scoring more goals I don’t expect anything other than the usual type of tactical approach when they go to the Nou Camp. However, they will be helped in the fact that Diego Costa is now up and running.
He really gives them an added element and one that they have severely been lacking in recent visits to Barcelona. They always defend well, that’s a given. In this game though they will have an out ball that will give them more of a threat and importantly more of a breather regarding their defensive style.
In recent games at the Nou Camp they have relied on numbers behind the ball and then a range of short passes to get themselves up the pitch.
This time they will still have numbers but also the option of Costa upfield. The passes don’t have to be perfect. The big striker will be looking forward to shaking up Pique and Umtiti and he will certainly occupy the mind of the two central defenders.
If they get up the pitch using Costa and he holds onto the ball then Antoine Griezmann is certainly in good form, sorry I should have said on fire! It doesn’t get much better than seven goals in two games.
A hat-trick away against Sevilla was followed by a four-goal haul at home to Leganés and honestly all seven goals were top quality. Between the two of them they will ensure that Barcelona will have to be at their best to at least avoid defeat.
Barca have had a tough schedule since the winter break but are aided in the fact that they don’t face Chelsea until the following midweek. The disappointment of only drawing away at Las Palmas on Thursday evening should galvanise Barca into a top performance and it will need to be a few levels above what we saw in Gran Canaria.
Barca tried to coast and the tactic failed miserably, as they really struggled to break down one of the most porous defences in the division, although in fairness it took a mystery penalty decision to go against them to cost them two dropped points.
Which way do I see this going? Due to the fact the gap is now down to five points I’m going to predict that Simeone will set his team up not to get beat. Atletico cannot win the title this weekend but a defeat in my opinion will put them out of the race completely.
Simeone won’t mind one bit if the gap remains at five with 11 to play so I’m expecting him to be conservative with his midfield selections. Between these two teams they have only lost one game in the league this season and I’m afraid that I believe that record will stand after this game.
I also believe the result will be a replica of the first meeting at the Wanda back in October. I’m going for the 1-1 draw with Messi scoring the opener against one of his favourite teams to play against.
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