Atletico vs Barcelona – LaLiga Their biggest defensive asset
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is like life insurance for Barcelona. The German has already highlighted his ability between the sticks on a number of occasions and, even since returning from his recent knee injury, he has continued to prove that he’s just as good as ever before.
Against Dynamo Kiev, Ter Stegen took centre stage with three huge saves, clinching the win for the Blaugrana. Against Real Betis, he showed more moments of brilliance despite conceding twice.
Barcelona face a tough trip to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano this Saturday night and all eyes will be back on Ter Stegen as they take on Atletico Madrid. He has conceded 12 goals in 13 games against Los Colchoneros, which suggests he could be in for a difficult night’s work in the capital. In those games, he has kept just four clean sheets.
Diego Simeone’s Atleti are LaLiga Santander’s second highest goalscorers this season with 17, only behind Real Sociedad’s 20. Even without their own former No.9 Luis Suarez, who has coronavirus, the Catalans will come up against a dangerous front line.
The trip to take on Atletico comes before Barcelona’s back line has finished settling this season and they still aren’t as solid at the back as they would like to be. Ronald Koeman’s side have conceded eight goals to Atleti’s two, and even Clement Lenglet has given them cause for concern at the heart of their defence.
Barcelona have been searching for defensive reinforcements for a year now and, Gerard Pique aside, there are questions hanging over their back line. Eric Garcia is the chosen one to come in, but they couldn’t get his signing over the line before the 2020/21 season got underway.
Their defensive worries have only increased Ter Stegen’s importance. He’s now playing as significant a role as the attacking stars. Even Simeone, looking ahead to the game in his pre-match press conference, couldn’t avoid including the German as he spoke of Barcelona’s key figures.