Barcelona v Atletico Madrid: Visitors can remain unbreached

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The last time Atletico Madrid beat Barcelona in Camp Nou, Lionel Messi was an 18-year-old establishing himself in the first-team, a 19-year-old Luis Suarez was preparing to move to Dutch outfit Groningen and Neymar was celebrating his 14th birthday.

The date was 5 February, 2006, and Barcelona were on a 14-game winning streak.

Atletico took the lead through a left-footed strike by a certain Fernando Torres, before Maxi Rodriguez doubled the lead early in the second half.

Henrik Larsson pulled a goal back for the home side but Torres grabbed his second and Atletico’s third with fifteen minutes to go to secure all three points for the visitors.

Even with that incredible win though, Jose Murcia’s men were still 23 points adrift of the Catalan giants after 22 games. Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona went on to win the league by 12 points while Atletico could only manage a 10th-place finish.

However, a lot has changed since then as Diego Simeone has transformed his side into genuine contenders for the La Liga title, even pipping the two Spanish giants to the post back in the 2013-14 campaign.

And that’s what makes Wednesday night’s game so interesting.

Simeone boasts arguably the best defensive unit in La Liga history on paper, keeping hold of the main players who featured in last season’s record-matching campaign (only Deportivo La Coruna can boast a figure as low as the 18 goals conceded by Atletico Madrid, and that was back in 1993-94).

Throw into the mix the fact that both sides are already playing catch-up with a Real Madrid side currently enjoying a 16-game-long winning streak in the league and there’s already so much to play for – even at this early stage.

Looking for value in this one is difficult to say the least. It’s last season’s top scorers against last season’s top defence. But given that Atletico have somewhat picked up where they left off (conceding just once in five competitive games), we think the 5/1 for Atletico to keep a clean sheet is too good to ignore.

It’s not often you’ll back against Barcelona scoring a single goal, certainly not at home, but if there was ever a side capable of keeping Messi, Suarez and Neymar at bay, it’s Atletico Madrid.

Head to Ladbrokes.com online, on mobile or on tablet to watch the action unfold courtesy of our La Liga Live Streaming!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.