Lionel Messi looks to prove a point against "second favourite victim" Atletico Madrid

Both sides are separated by just two points – and with just four games to go, Saturday’s match could be decisive.

Lionel Messi is one of the most prominent players in world football. (Image Credit: Twitter/@FCBarcelona)
By Arnab Mukherji | May 8, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Lionel Messi will look to make his presence felt against Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, with the Argentine footballer enjoying an excellent record against the team. Messi has however got a point to prove at the same time, following the defeat in the last La Liga encounter between the two sides at the Wanda Metropolitano. In LaLiga, and without counting the defeat earlier this season, the Argentine footballer had not lost a game against Atletico Madrid since February 14, 2020.

The attacker will look to make amends for that rare defeat, having lost only one league game at the Camp Nou against the Madrid-based side. That defeat came on February 5, 2006. Since then, he has been a part of 13 wins and six draws which is incredible. Messi will look to maintain the unbeaten streak at his favourite hunting ground: Camp Nou.

Incredible record against Atletico Madrid

The 33-year-old has scored 32 goals, 26 of them in LaLiga, in 42 games against the team from Madrid, who are his second favourite victim behind Sevilla.

Atletico Madrid despite all their defensive prowess are also the only team to have conceded three hat-tricks from the Argentina-based footballer. Messi had scored his first ever free-kick against the Spanish team and last Sunday, May 2, he reached fifty for the club with his great strike against Valencia.

Ronald Koeman has named a 23 man squad for the game with Martin Braithwaite back after injury: Ter Stegen, Dest, Pique, R. Araujo, Sergio, Griezmann, Pjanic, Braithwaite, Messi, O. Dembele, Riqui Puig, Neto, Lenglet, Pedri, Trincao, Jordi Alba, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Umtiti, Junior, Ilaix Moriba, O. Mingueza and Arnau Tenas.

Both sides are separated by just two points – and with just four games to go, Saturday’s match could be decisive. Moreover, the team with the best defensive record in the competition (Atleti, 22 goals conceded) will face the side that has scored the most goals (FC Barcelona, 80).

It will be interesting to see how the match plays out, considering the immense talent that players of both these teams enjoy. A win will be of great importance having been knocked out of the ongoing edition of the UEFA Champions League, which resulted in a lot of distress among the fans.

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