The teams currently lying first and second in La Liga meet on Wednesday night for a quarter-final tie that you can see live on Sky 1. The first leg finished 1-1 and Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague examines where the second leg could be won and lost...
For the return leg of Atletico Madrid v Barcelona in Wednesday's Champions League match we have to highlight a couple of things.
- Atletico Madrid have managed to keep Messi quiet in their last five meetings - he hasn't scored against them in those matches.
- Plus, Atletico have only lost once in 26 home games this season and their first leg 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou gave us a few lessons about where the teams are.
Coach Martino hasn't given Barcelona enough offensive alternatives and when a team defends very deeply like Atletico Madrid did, it's difficult for them to break them down and reach Messi. They then have to depend on one or two movements from the most talented guys that they've got in Iniesta, Messi and Neymar; because they don't work well as a team they make their life difficult and Atletico Madrid know that and they just wait for the moment.
Atletico will hope Diego Costa is fit; he's been running more than training this week but they are expecting him to be available for at least a bit of the game. He didn't have a full tear but normally the hamstring strain he picked up takes about a week to ten days to recover. He should be there but we don't know whether he will start.
I still see Atletico Madrid as the favourites. They know how to stop Barcelona, they know how to take advantage of their weaknesses at the back and they could be the big surprise of the quarter-finals.