Barcelona are not accustomed to losing at home, but they suffered their first defeat in almost 14 months in their last game against Real Madrid at Camp Nou, Saturday. Barcelona must be disappointed with their loss, and should be determined to get back to their winning ways as they prepare to host Atletico Madrid in a crucial Champions League quarterfinal first leg encounter, Tuesday.
Barcelona's trio – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – failed to live up to the expectations against Real, so they will leave no stone unturned in this Champions League clash. Barcelona are well on course for the treble as well, but Champions League will be the biggest prize, which they would want to capture.
Barcelona might not have tasted victory in their last two games, but their performance in the round of 32 against Arsenal was top class, which helped them earn the quarterfinal berth as well. Barcelona might have been happier if they would come up with some other team in the competition for Atletico Madrid are a strong team and Barcelona is aware of the fact.
Barcelona have done the double in the La Liga, defeating Atletico Madrid on both counts, home and away, but their opponent played some great football, and pressurised the champions. Barcelona know how they play, but manager Luis Enrique believes that Atletico Madrid might change their plans for the Champions League encounter.
"We have played Atlético a few times in the last couple of years but we need to analyse them and be open-minded because they may play differently this time. They are a top team with a clear philosophy; they are dangerous on the counter and pressure you up high," UEFA official website quoted Enrique as saying.
Atletico Madrid are a quality side if the other team gives them space. They can attack teams on the counter with their pace and Barcelona, who love playing an attacking brand of football, cannot afford to turnover the ball in dangerous positions. It could cost them the match.
The visitors come into this fixture with massive wins under their belt in the La Liga, defeating Real Betis (5-1) and Sporting (2-1). However, Barcelona will prove to be their litmus test. A victory against Barcelona will only bolster their team morale further in the competition.
Atletico Madrid will primarily depend on their star player, Antoine Griezmann, who has been scoring goals for fun of late.
Though Barcelona might have emerged victorious in their last six meeting, Atletico can take inspiration from their win against Barca in Champions League quarter-finals in April 2014.
However, the match result will more or less depend on the performance of the Messi, Suarez and Neymar. If the trio play their A game, Atletico will hope that Barcelona score as few as possible as the trio can run riot when on song.
"We are used to seeing MSN [Messi, Suárez, Neymar], with all the individual qualities that make Barcelona even better. Hopefully they will face the best of us as well. It is important that all my players understand that one minute on the pitch will be a lifetime," Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone said.
The match promises to be a cracker, with most of the stars in both the camps fit and raring to go at Camp Nou.
Where to watch Champions League live
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League quarterfinal first leg is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. CET (6:45 p.m. GMT, 1:45 p.m. ET, 12:15 a.m. IST) start.
Viewers in India can watch Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League quarterfinal on Ten Action and Ten HD. Viewers in India and the subcontinent can also watch Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League quarterfinal live online by live streaming on Tensports Live.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League quarterfinal will be shown live on TV3 and Antena 3 in Spain.
UK viewers can watch the Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League first leg live on BT Sport Europe, with the online live streaming option on Watch BT Sport.
Fox Sports 1 will show the Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Champions League quarterfinal live in the US, while the Champions League action can also be live streamed online on FoxSoccer2Go.
Audience in Indonesia, Thailand and Australia can watch the UCL game live on TV on Bein Sports,with the live stream option onBein Sports Connect.