Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona: Odds, Preview, Live Stream, TV InfoNovember 23, 2018
After 12 matches of the 2017-18 La Liga season, Barcelona were four points clear at the top of the table and 10 points ahead of Atletico Madrid.
At the same stage this term, the Blaugrana are again top of the pile, but things are much tighter:
Ernesto Valverde's side visit Atleti on Saturday, and if they lose, they could end up as low as fourth by the end of the weekend.
Here are all the details for the headline fixture in La Liga this weekend at the Wanda Metropolitano:
Date: Saturday, November 24
Time: 7:45 p.m. GMT, 2:45 p.m. ET
TV Info: Eleven Sports 1 (UK), beIN Sports (U.S.)
Live Stream: Eleven Sports, beIN Sports Connect
Match Odds (via OddsShark): Atletico 21-10, Barcelona 7-5, Draw 11-5
Despite the season not having yet reached its midway point, Saturday's clash could be crucial in the title race.
If Barca win, they will at least maintain their one-point margin at the top of the table while also extending their lead over Atleti—the most likely side to push them all the way—to four points.
Should Barca lose, Atleti will leapfrog them in the table, and Real Madrid could find themselves back in the title race if they win at Eibar.
Meanwhile, a draw, perhaps the most likely outcome given how well the two sides match, would leave things in the balance.
Barca suffered a shock defeat in their last match before the international break as they were beaten 4-3 at home by Real Betis, a remarkable result given the Blaugrana's previous solidity at the Camp Nou:
Lionel Messi netted twice in Barca's defeat to Betis despite only just having returned from injury.
He has subsequently had almost two weeks off after not joining up with Argentina, so he should be at full sharpness, which is a danger for Atleti.
In a boost for the hosts, though, Ivan Rakitic is unavailable due to suspension and injury, while Philippe Coutinho is also a doubt, per Marca.
Atleti will likely look to take the chance to dominate in midfield, and they go into the clash on the back of a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
If recent results are anything to go by, Saturday's clash will be tight.
Only once in Barca and Atleti's last 11 meetings has either side won by more than a goal.
The Madrid outfit prevailed 2-0 at home in April 2016 in the UEFA Champions League, but that was their last victory against Barca.
The Catalans have won three of the last six, with the other three ending in 1-1 draws.
However, Atletico have an excellent chance to end that run on Saturday as Barca have looked vulnerable this season, not least in their last outing against Betis.