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Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, center,  controls the ball  in between players  during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
Gabriel Pecot
Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

Spain is set to lose one of its Champions League contenders in the quarter-finals, as Catalan giants Barcelona face this season's surprise package, Atletico Madrid.

Atletico lead the La Liga title race into the final bend, per WhoScored.com, looking to break the cartel of championship victories by the big two clubs in the country for the first time since 2003-04, when Valencia stole the crown from the Spanish royalty. 

Now Atletico look for their biggest scalp of all as they push forward in the Champions League.

Barca will be in confident mood after their recent El Clasico victory over Altletico's most hated of neighbours, Real Madrid.

Messi and company scored a historic 4-3 win against the Galacticos

Here is how you can catch all of the action:

 

When: Tuesday, April 1, at 7:45 p.m. BST/ 2:45 p.m. ET

Where: Nou Camp, Barcelona, Spain.

TV Info: Live on Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD 

Live Stream: Sky Go (U.K. only) Fox Soccer (US Only)

 

Key Storyline 

The Return Of Messi

Andres Kudacki

Did the diminutive Argentina forward really go into decline recently?

If you had been listening to the rumours and whispers of social media you might have thought so. But El Clasico put the known universe back in order, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick and outshining Cristiano Ronaldo once more. 

Barcelona will need their superstar player to be at his very best once again, this time to destroy Madrid's derby rivals.

Atletico have failed to beat Barca in their last six meetings, having lost three times to their illustrious opponents, per WhoScored.com.

The mythology behind Messi's poor form sits somewhere between statistics and opinion. The player has 23 goals from his 24 games this season, per Squawka, proving that there is very little wrong with his current figures.

They are still very much amongst the best of any player on the planet this season.

Messi will also be looking to protect his current Champions League goalscoring record, as Ronaldo threatens to surpass it.

Statistics expert Ramon Min tweeted about the possibility of Messi being overtaken in Europe's premier competition:

Atletico will find it hard to pin down Messi as the Barcelona machine appears to be finding its best football late in the year.

Messi will be motivated to put out the new kids on the block, and put Atletico back in their place in the food chain.

If he is at his devastating best, it is difficult to see how the Madrid club will be able to stop him. 

 

Costa's Leaving Present For Atletico?

Gabriel Pecot

Atletico have produced some brilliant strikers in recent years, from Fernando Torres to Radamel Falcao, but the most potent of the lot could be Diego Costa. 

Costa is the hottest striker in Europe after his performances this season, and it looks like the Spanish international could be on his way to the Premier League in a big money move to Chelsea, per Pete Jenson of the Mail Online.

It is no surprise that the player is heavily in-demand with the richest clubs in the world, and this season of potential success may well be his parting gift to the Madrid team.

Indeed, a La Liga crown or Champions League final would be the perfect send off from the Brazilian-born ace. 

In both competitions combined the player now has 32 goals from 35 starts, with four assists, per WhoScored.com.

It is a phenomenal record and one that Atletico will not be able to replace easily if Costa moves to England or elsewhere.

Costa will be the driving force for his team on Tuesday night and this has been recognised by Barca's Dani Alves. Dermot Corrigan of ESPN and Fox Soccer tweeted, quoting the Brazil international:

In what looks likely to be Costa's swansong for his club, he will have to be at his very best if he is to provide his team with the farewell gift that he would want to give them.

Atletico will be under pressure to carry on performing in La Liga, whilst trying to navigate the harsh seas of the final stages of the Champions League.

Barca have been here many times before, and that experience could well be the difference between the two sides.

But with Costa's magnificence, it could be the unfashionable team from Madrid who score yet another shock in one of their greatest seasons in living memory. 

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