There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a tough season for Barcelona, with the Catalan outfit off the pace when it comes to the title race, sitting some 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Xavi’s side are also outside of the Champions League spots, currently sitting fifth in the division, but they are only one point behind Atletico and five behind third-placed Real Betis with a game in hand.
Barcelona are unbeaten in La Liga since the start of December and have won three of their last five, including a 1-0 success over Alaves before the break, with Frenkie de Jong scoring the only goal of the contest in the final exchanges to secure a huge three points.
The Catalan outfit also enjoyed a successful January transfer window, adding Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore, but the club were unable to shift Ousmane Dembele, with the Frenchman remaining at the club despite widespread speculation.
Barcelona have not actually beaten Atletico in the league since December 2019, losing two of the last three meetings, including a 2-0 defeat in the reverse match at Wanda Metropolitano back in October, while the points were shared in a goalless draw at Camp Nou last season.
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