herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Messi hoping to get first of season

LM
LM

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona square off at the Vicente Calderon stadium tonight with the last two Primera Division champions eager to prove their title credentials early on.

The two have enjoyed perfect starts to the campaign and lead the standings alongside Celta Vigo and Eibar after two rounds.

Barca won the four meetings between the sides last season and have only lost once in 13 games against Atletico since Diego Simeone took charge of the Rojiblancos.

"Atletico is a very complicated team to play against," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on his club's official website. "It's always a motivation for us to play them.

"It's no wonder they won the league two years ago, they have a great coach.

Contenders

"They will be title contenders and we expect a very tight game, as I'm sure they will."

Lionel Messi is set to start against Atletico with the Argentina captain looking to score his first goal of the season this weekend.

Madrid v Barcelona SS3 (ko 7.30)

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