La Liga: FC Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid
Defending champion FC Barcelona takes on Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Vicente Calderon with injuries and suspensions obstructing its defense and forcing coach Pep Guardiola to make huge adjustments to the back four.
Yaya Toure, Dmitro Chygrynskiy, Eric Abidal and Dani Alves are all sidelined, while Rafa Marquez and Gerard Pique are suspended, leaving Guardiola short of defensive options for tonight’s game.
The Catalans have won only one of their last seven La Liga encounters against Los Rojiblancos and last season they were defeated 4-3 in a classic match.
Argentine striker Sergio “Kun” Aguero declared earlier this week that his team wants to beat Barca for their own sake and not as a favor to Real Madrid. Last November, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four minutes after coming on as a substitute to lead the Catalans to a 1-0 victory over Los Blancos.
“We need the three points,” Aguero said in a recent interview. “I think if you are particularly fond of Atleti, there is no game in which you want to lose…and certainly the fans will be with us.”
The match kicks-off at 21:00 CET (3:00 p.m. ET).
UPDATE: The Catalans suffered their first league defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss against Atletico Madrid. Barca’s lead over title rivals Real Madrid was reduced to two points.