La Liga preview: Reignited Griezmann leads Atletico’s offense against Barca
Barcelona, January 6, 2023 (AFP) – Barcelona are aiming for a transparent victory at Atletico Madrid on Sunday to show they’ll struggle for the silverware in 2023, however former participant Antoine Griezmann stands of their means.
The Catalans signed the French ahead from Atletico for 120m euros ($126.3m) in the summertime of 2019 and loaned it again in 2021, making the deal everlasting in October 2022.
Barça drew 1-1 within the derby towards Espanyol final weekend, leaving the champions Actual Madrid two factors forward and tied the title race to head-to-head.
Each Barcelona and Actual Madrid have 38 factors in 15 video games and Xavi’s aspect is main for the time being, however some are questioning their capability to go the gap towards Carlo Ancelotti’s well-oiled machine.
The Catalans final received the league earlier than Griezmann arrived in 2019, ending their streak of 4 league titles in 5 years, however have been battling for the silverware ever since.
President Joan Laporta used numerous monetary “leverages” to spend the summer season huge and herald star signings, together with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, however the Catalans suffered a humiliating exit from the Champions League.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético can also be having a troublesome season, once more eradicated from European soccer and struggling to keep up their high 4 positions.
Basque sides Actual Sociedad in third and Athletic Bilbao in fifth pose threats, whereas fourth 2021 champions Atletico are 11 factors behind the leaders.
Nonetheless, Atlético striker Griezmann shone with France within the World Cup, whereas his group completed second to Argentina.
The 31-year-old has been positioned deeper into the sector within the midfield place, the place he has additionally sometimes appeared for Atletico Madrid.
Boasting a flashy new pink haircut, Griezmann stands head and shoulders above the remaining.
“I feel we should always shut him down as a result of he is actually harmful, he has excellent passing abilities and is in actually fine condition,” Barcelona’s French winger Ousmane Dembele advised Eleven Sports activities on Thursday.
The 2 are shut mates however didn’t thrive collectively at Camp Nou earlier than Griezmann was despatched again to the capital on mortgage.
Initially of the season, after a saga of Atletico taking part in solely within the last phases of matches to not activate a set €40 million charge to signal him, the golf equipment have reached a brand new €20 million deal to seal his everlasting return.
Barcelona will probably be disadvantaged of their star participant, high scorer Lewandowski, after a three-game ban was upheld by the Spanish sports activities court docket on Wednesday.
The Catalans must select a backup striker with the contentious Ferran Torres, Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati.
The latter scored within the Copa del Rey’s thirty second spherical match towards Inter Metropolis on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding humiliation for the Catalans, giving them a slim 4-3 win in additional time.
He highlighted the fragility that has made Actual Madrid favorites to win the league and that Simeone will hope Griezmann positive aspects a bonus on the Metropolitano.
“He has regained the love of the followers and talking on the court docket, he is an efficient instance for all his teammates,” Simeone mentioned on Wednesday.
“The gamers attain a powerful degree once they need to. He’s an excellent participant, regardless that many individuals suppose in any other case.”
Participant to observe: Karim Benzema
Actual Madrid’s striker is again in form and has hit Actual Valladolid twice final week, trying to show himself after an harm disappointment on the World Cup.
The 35-year-old has scored seven targets in La Liga this season and is six behind high scorer Lewandowski, who’s at the moment suspended.
The previous French worldwide could also be beginning to make amends for the golden shoe race as Madrid visits Villarreal on Saturday.
0 – Elche is the one membership that hasn’t received a single La Liga win this season.
14 – There are 14 gamers taking part in each minute of the primary 15 video games.
40 – Sevilla are in a relegation battle and winger Erik Lamela steps in — 40 fouls greater than another participant within the league.
- Elche vs Celta Vigo
- Valencia – Cadiz
- Villarreal vs. Actual Madrid
- Mallorca vs Actual Valladolid
- Espanyol vs Girona
- Almeria vs. Actual Sociedad
- Rayo Vallecano vs. Actual Betis
- Sevilla vs Getafe
- Atlético Madrid – Barcelona
- Athletic Bilbao vs Osasuna
#Liga #preview #Reignited #Griezmann #leads #Atleticos #offense #Barca