Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid Betting Odds, Match Preview and Prediction

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2014

Barcelona's Jordi Alba, right, fights for the ball with Atletico's Miranda during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona in the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Paul White/Associated Press

Atletico Madrid blew a great chance to clinch the La Liga title in their latch match and now face an uphill battle, needing at least one point at Camp Nou to claim the league crown.

They played to a draw at home facing Malaga and now must earn a point facing Barcelona on the road to win the title.

Barcelona has to feel a little lucky to still be in the league race after a 0-0 draw facing Elche in their last match. However, they are still in it and also the betting favorite at home against Atletico Madrid.

Sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark had Barca at -120 with Atletico Madrid at +333 and a draw line of +265.

These two teams are no strangers this season having met five times—twice in the Super Cup, twice in Champions League play and once in league play. Barca claimed the Super Cup while Atletico ousted Barca from Champions League play.

Atletico has conceded the fewest goals in La Liga play this season, and in their seven matches since beating Barca 1-0 in Champions League play, they have only given up two goals.

Can Barca play their game at home? That is the big question. They have won the time-of-possession battle in the five matches facing Atletico this season, but only have two goals and no wins to show for it.

Lionel Messi, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez have been bottled up by the Atletico defense, and at home there will be a lot of pressure on them to provide some offensive spark.

Neymar is the only Barca player who has scored against Atletico this season, though he is nursing an injury. The club released a statement saying he has resumed "recovery work" without making it clear if he will return to the pitch this weekend.

Key defender Gerard Pique has also resumed training after an injury, and if he can play for Barca and their solid defense, which has conceded the second fewest goals in league play this season, it will be a big boost.

Like Barca, Atletico has a big injury concern with scoring leader Diego Costa dealing with a hamstring problem. According's Ben Hayward, Costa "looks set to return in time" for Saturday's matchup.

Costa has scored 27 goals this season, with David Villa and Raul Garcia chiming in to combine for 22. While these guys are key on the attack for the away squad, the counter-attack may be Atletico’s main chance to get on the scoreboard.

You can be sure that Atletico will pack the defense, as that has worked for them facing Barca this season, and a draw would net them the league title.

Last season at Camp Nou, Barcelona crushed Atletico Madrid 4-1 in league play.

Prediction: 3-1 Barcelona