The La Liga title race could be all but decided on Sunday evening, even at this early stage of the season as Barcelona have the chance to move nine points clear at the top as they take on their biggest rivals for the trophy this season, Atletico Madrid, at the Nou Camp.
In the Spanish top flight so far, Barca have dropped just two points and look set to regain the trophy they lost to Real Madrid earlier in the year. Some wondered whether there may be a slight hangover period after Pep Guardiola left the club in the summer, but Tito Vilanova has shown what a fantastic boss he is and has the Catalan side playing some superb football.
This weekend, they entertain an Atletico Madrid team that have surpassed expectations so far this season. Diego Simeone would have had finishing in the top four of the league as his priority, but if his men can win on Sunday evening, they will blow the title race wide open.
The club from the Spanish capital are sure to be delighted with their performances in the opening 15 games, but cannot afford to go missing in these big matches. Against Real Madrid last month, they went down 2-0 and never really looked like taking the points.
It should be one of the games of the season as it is between two teams that love to play fast-flowing, attacking and stylish football. Also, we are in for a treat as two of the best attackers in the world are on show – Lionel Messi and Radamel Falcao.
Messi continues to break records and of course scored his 85th and 86th goals of 2012 last time out, which broke Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a calendar year. The Argentina international will not stop there though and is hungry to find the net in this one.
As for Falcao, he has really burst onto the scene in the last twelve months or so and grabbed himself five goals against Deportivo La Coruna last weekend. He is proving to be one of the most clinical strikers around and will need to take any half chance presented to him on Sunday evening.
When you look at the two line-ups and what is at stake in this one, it is tough not to get excited about it. As they are on home soil, Barcelona will be the big favourites but make no doubt about it, Atletico are ready to try and snatch a victory here.
A win for the home side would surly leave them too far ahead in the league, but if Simeone’s men take the spoils, it is well and truly game on.