Barcelona and league-leaders Atletico Madrid will go head-to-head at Camp Nou in a titanic La Liga title six-pointer on Saturday.
Ahead of the kick-off, the hosts sit two points adrift of their opponents and are looking to maintain their imperious home streak against Atletico to leapfrog them in the standings.
Meanwhile, the visitors harbour a slender lead over Barca and Real Madrid and cannot afford another slip-up if they are to capitalise on impressive domestic performances this season.
Barcelona prevailed in a five-goal thriller at Mestalla last time out, coming from behind to beat Valencia 3-2 and bounce back from a 2-1 home defeat to Granada.
Ronald Koeman’s men have racked up the most La Liga points (49) since the turn of 2021 (W16, D1, L2), at least eight more than any other side in the competition.
Before the abovementioned loss to Granada, Barca were unbeaten in 13 consecutive home league fixtures (W10, D3), netting an average of 2.76 goals per game in that sequence.
Overall this season, the Catalan heavyweights have bagged 80 goals in La Liga, 19 more than closest followers Atletico.
Having lost their most recent home league match, Barcelona face the prospect of losing back-to-back La Liga games at Camp Nou for just the third time this millennium, last doing so in April 2016.
Atletico Madrid Preview
Atletico survived a late drama to defeat relegation-threatened Elche on the road last time out, as Fidel missed the spot-kick in the stoppage time to upset the visitors.
Victory at Manuel Martínez Valero brought Atletico’s four-match winless run in away La Liga games to a halt (D2, L2), though it also means Los Rojiblancos have now scored under 1.5 goals in five consecutive league trips.
Diego Simeone’s men have struggled in front of goal this season, having scored an average of just 1.41 goals per away La Liga fixture so far.
Seeking their first La Liga triumph at Camp Nou since February 2006, Los Colchoneros are hopeful of ending their longest current winless run away from home against one opponent in the competition (14 matches).
It will be an uphill task for the visitors to do that, knowing they have picked up just one victory in their last 21 top-flight encounters with Barcelona (D6, L14), courtesy of a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Out: Martin Braithwaite, Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati.
Doubts: Sergino Dest.
Barcelona (3-5-2): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo; Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Jan Oblak; Renan Lodi, Jose Gimenez, Stefan Savic, Kieran Trippier; Saul Niguez, Koke, Marcos Llorente, Yannick Carrasco; Angel Correa, Luis Suarez.