There were expectations that Ronald Koeman would come to Barcelona and at least have them challenging for the title, but they’re a couple of bad results away from losing touch very early in the season.
They travel to face Atletico Madrid on Saturday in a game where a lot of people will expect Diego Simeone’s men to win, while Atleti could go nine points clear of Barca if they prevail.
Simeone has suffered a few setbacks during the international break due to injuries and Covid-19 situations, but AS have indicated that his two biggest worries haven’t come true as Kieran Tripper and Jan Oblak will be available.
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Trippier is the only fit right back just now and Lionel Messi tends to occupy that wing so you don’t want a make-shift option in there, while Oblak is one of the best keepers in the world so the importance of his availability is obvious.
Unfortunately Luis Suarez looks set to miss out due to positive Covid tests in the Uruguay camp. You just know that Suarez would’ve scored in this game and given it some with his celebration so he will be missed.
This is a great chance for Koeman’s team to bounce back and haul themselves back into contention with a hard fought win, but they won’t be considered as overwhelming favourites in this one.