Saturday September 24, 2011 (21.00 UK)
Camp Nou, Barcelona
Pep Guardiola will face a tough challenge against an Atletico side that are very much in form. Their two consecutive 4-0 wins, in which Radamel Falcao scored five goals, have put Los Colchoneros back on track after two disappointing opening games.
Barcelona could see their defence strengthened, as Gerard Pique should be fit to play in his first La Liga game after recovering from a calf injury. However, Andres Iniesta is still ruled out with a hamstring problem. Cesc Fabregas has settled in well and will be looking for a record breaking fifth goal in his first five consecutive games.
Radamel Falcao scored another two in Atletico’s midweek win over Sporting Gijon, but had countless chances to increase his tally. The Colombian’s power in the air will certainly be a worry for Barcelona, who are uncomfortable in dealing with crosses. Gregorio Manzano’s side have the best defensive record in La Liga, with only one goal conceded in four games, and the Coach will be hoping to name an unchanged back line.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Thiago; Pedro, Messi, Fabregas
League form: Last five home W-W-D-W-W
Atletico Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Silvio, Miranda, Dominguez, Filipe Luis; Tiago, Gabi, Mario Suarez; Savio, Falcao, Turan
League form: Last five away D-W-L-W-L
Did you know… Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have produced twenty six goals in their last five encounters (via @soccerway).