The Numbers Game: In-form Atleti eye elusive Camp Nou win against misfiring Barca

By Sports Desk April 21, 2023

Barcelona must rediscover their firepower when they attempt to keep in-form Atletico Madrid's waiting for an elusive win at Camp Nou on Sunday.

A goalless draw at Getafe last weekend meant Barca have failed to find the back of the net in three games.

Xavi's side remain well on course to win the LaLiga title, leading Real Madrid by 11 points with nine matches to play, but have stuttered in recent weeks.

The Blaugrana have not been beaten at home by Atleti since back in 2006, but Diego Simeone's third-placed side head into the game on a six-match winning run in LaLiga.

Using the standout Opta data, Stats Perform preview a huge game in Catalonia.

 

Barca must rediscover cutting edge

The leaders have not scored a goal since a 4-0 hammering of Elche on April 1, firing a blank when they were consigned to a 4-0 drubbing by Madrid in the Copa del Rey before back-to-back stalemates against Girona and Getafe.

Barca had 44 shots in those three matches, hitting the woodwork twice against Getafe. On only three previous occasions have they failed to score in four successive games, most recently in April 2008 under Frank Rijkaard.

The return to training this week of Ousmane Dembele, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong should give them a lift.

Defensive records make goal-fest unlikely

With so many classy attacking players on show, you might think surely another goalless draw will not be on the cards this weekend.

It would be no great surprise, though, given the defensive records the two sides have, with Barca keeping 22 clean sheets in the 2022-campaign and Atleti 12.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen has only let in an incredible nine goals this season in 29 games in the Spanish top flight, with Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak second on the list of the fewest conceded with 21.

Camp Nou an unhappy hunting ground for Simeone

Simeone has had more games without a win at Camp Nou as a boss than any other venue, failing to come out on top on 15 occasions.

Atleti secured back-to-back away victories over Barca in 2005 and 2006, but the Catalan giants are unbeaten in 16 home matches against the Rojiblancos since their last loss 17 years ago.

Simeone's men are on a roll, though, reeling off six successive LaLiga wins – the joint-best current run in Europe's top five leagues along with Manchester City – and they are unbeaten in 13 games in the competition. 

Griezy does it

Antoine Griezmann will return to face his former employers in impressive form.

The France forward has scored five goals in his past eight LaLiga games, just one less than in his previous 36 games in the competition.

Griezmann scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over Almeria last weekend, taking his tally for the season to 12 to go with 11 assists.

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