This fixture has become one of the most highly-anticipated match-ups of the LaLiga Santander season but it’s not a new phenomenon, with the rivalry dating back to the inaugural LaLiga season in the late-1920s. Here are five things you might not know about this iconic game.

  1. IT’S TIGHT BUT BARCELONA HOLD THE ALL-TIME EDGE

These two teams have met in LaLiga on 162 occasions. Barcelona have won 73 times, making for a win percentage of 45%. There have been 39 draws, while Atlético come out on top in the league on 50 occasions.

  1. ATLETI ARE ONE OF MESSI’S FAVOURITE TEAMS TO FACE

Talk about a big-game player. Over the course of his career, Leo Messi has met Los Colchoneros 36 times and has scored 28 goals. Only Sevilla, against who he has scored 32 times, have suffered more at the hands (or feet…) of the Barça number 10.

  1. DIEGO SIMEONE HAS NEVER BEATEN BARCELONA IN THE LEAGUE

Although ‘El Cholo’ Simeone may have won a league title at the Camp Nou with a 1-1 draw back on the final day of the 2013/14 season, he has never actually collected three points against the Blaugrana. The Argentine has faced Barcelona in LaLiga Santander 13 times, losing nine and drawing four. Could this be the year he snaps his unwanted winless streak?

  1. WHEN IT COMES TO ATLETI-BARÇA, EXPECT GOALS

There hasn’t been a goalless draw in matches between these two teams since 2013. They’ve played 17 times across all competitions since then and every one of those 17 meetings has produced at least a goal.

  1. BARCELONA REGISTERED THE JOINT-LARGEST VICTORY AT THE WANDA METROPOLITANO, BUT NOT AGAINST ATLETI…

Interestingly, there have been two five-goal wins at Atleti’s new Wanda Metropolitano stadium since it opened in the summer of 2017, but neither was achieved by the home club. One was a 6-1 win over Argentina for Spain, while the other was Barcelona’s 5-0 Copa del Rey final victory over Sevilla.

 

Watch Atletico Madrid vs FC Barcelona this Saturday from 06:45 AEDT, on BeIN Sports 2 and in 4K on Foxtel channel 444.

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com