BARCELONA VS ATHLETICO MADRID – ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW
Two La Liga Giants are about to clash in Spanish Super Cup Semi-Final which is going to held on Thursday night, 9th of January at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium at 20:00 CET. Catalan Club is confident to defend the title this year in the newly formatted tournament. Barcelona is jet off to Saudi Arabia ahead of Spanish Super Cup. The match will be held within 24 hours as Zidane’s Real Madrid collides with Valencia.
Barcelona just lost two vital points in the derby against Espanyol, and Athletico Madrid secured three points by beating Levante by 2-1. It’s going to an interesting match as both teams are in good form, Barcelona with the world-class squad and Diego Simeone with tactics. Antoine Griezmann is hoping to win this title by beating his former club and the other finalist either Valencia or Real Madrid. It is important to mention Griezmann as he has lost two Champion’s League Final by Real Madrid. By joining Barcelona he is hoping to win more and more trophies.
In the previous match of Barcelona derby, Messi went goalless, Vidal and Suarez on the score sheet. Barcelona has to play without the German wall, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen as he is injured. Ernesto Valverde confirms that he will fly to Saudi Arabia, but will not play.
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez was seen furious after the full-time whistle as the drew the match and lost two crucial points in the 88th minute as Wu Lei scored the equalizer for Espanyol. Suarez demanded improvement in the team ahead of tough competition.
He told in a post-match interview with Marca, “We did well to turn the score around (and lead 2-1),”
“But we have lost two points here today, and we must look at that.”
“I think that even if we had won the game, there are still many things to look at and improve.”
“We have a few days now to prepare for the Supercopa, but it will be a difficult game against Atletico Madrid.”
“To win a title like that, we must improve, and quickly.” On the other side, Athletico Madrid is a strong competitor. Athletico lost only one match in the previous 5 league games, and the defeat was against Barcelona when Leo Messi scored the
decisive goal against them in a thrilling match. Athletico have defensive records, as Jan Oblak managed to keep 9 clean sheets in the season, Oblak and Real Madrid’s goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois have shared the same number of clean sheets this season.
It will be difficult for Barcelona to score against Simeone’s side as his team conceded only 12 goals in 19 games this season.
Athletico are hoping a magical performance from their wonder kid, Joao Felix, that has not shown his real color this season yet.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
A controversy arose this season as the structure of the Spanish Super Cup changed this year. According to the previous format, a competition of two-leg matches, one home one away, was played between the winners of the Spanish Domestic leagues La Liga and the Copa del Rey. In 2018 the format was changed again and the single-leg match was played. This year Super Cup format is rescheduled and instead of winners of La Liga and Copa del Rey to play in final, the finalists have to play against the 2nd and 3rd rank teams of La Liga 2018-19 campaign.
Now Champion of La Liga 2018-19 Barcelona will face La Liga Runner-Up Athletico Madrid, and Copa del Rey 2018-19 winner Valencia will face 3rd ranked Real Madrid in Semi-Final. The competition will be held in Saudi Arabia not just this year, but in the following two years too. The tournament takes place on January 8-12, in Jeddah. This made the Spanish fans furious as they have to fly to 6600 km far Saudi Arabia.
Here is the list of players that will miss or doubtful for this match.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen