Atlético vs Barcelona preview: team news, form guide, expert view
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Atlético and Barcelona will meet in the 2019/20 UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals.
Article top media content
Atlético Madrid will be severely depleted as they go into their first UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final against domestic rivals Barcelona, while the 2019 runners-up hope to go one better than last year.
Some experienced arrivals have compensated for several recent Atlético departures, but the team from the Spanish capital will be missing a raft of key players. Barcelona, meanwhile, will be keen to pick up from their excellent form in the first half of the season, when their results included two wins against Atlético.
Meet the teams
UEFA ranking: 13
This season: P4 W2 D2 L0 F7 A5
How they got here: Spartak Subotica 4-3agg (R32), Manchester City 3-2agg (R16)
Last five games: WWWDL
Top scorer: Ludmila Da Silva (2)
Last season: Round of 16
European best: Quarter-finals (2019/20)
UEFA ranking: 3
This season: P4 W4 D0 L0 F12 A2
How they got here: Juventus 4-1agg (R32), Minsk 8-1agg (R16)
Last five games: WWWWW
Top scorer: Alexia Putellas (3)
Last season: Runners-up
European best: Runners-up (2018/19)
Out: Ludmila Da Silva (suspended), Laia Aleixandri (quarantine), Silvia Meseguer (quarantine), Leicy Santos (quarantine), Charlyn Corral (quarantine), Deyna Castellanos (quarantine)
Would miss semi-final if booked: Leicy Santos
- Atlético are much changed from the side that would have played in March, not least with the departure of goalkeepers Lola Gallardo and Sari van Veenendaal, replaced by the hugely experienced Hedvig Lindahl, signed from Wolfsburg.
- Other new arrivals include defenders Meryl van Dongen and Alia Guagni, midfielder Turid Knaak, Lyon loanee Emelyne Laurent and England's experienced Jade Moore, who arrived in the last few days.
- Five important players are missing after testing positive for COVID-19 while Virginia Torrecilla underwent surgery for a brain tumour in May. Barcelona coach Lluís Cortés said earlier this week: "She is a player who was at our club [from 2012 to 2015], very much loved by the squad. I wanted to send you a big hug and wish you a very good recovery."
Would miss semi-final if booked: Patricia Guijarro
- In Jennifer Hermoso and Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona have a deadly strike force. Oshoala does not always start but is a potent weapon as a substitute, not least when scoring in last season's final.
- Right-back options Marta Torrejón and Ana-Maria Crnogorčević were both passed fit this week after recent injuries.
- Hermoso returned to the club from Atlético last summer, while Toni Duggan went the other way.
None in Europe. This season Barcelona have beaten Atlético 3-2 in the Spanish Super Cup in Salamanca in February, two weeks after a 0-0 league draw in Madrid. On 21 September, Barcelona beat Atlético 6-1 and eventually ended their rivals' three-year reign as champions.
Expert view: Verónica Boquete, 2015 winner with Frankfurt
"An all-Spanish tie in the Champions League! Barça were already clear favourites but after Atlético’s numerous casualties (due to COVID), they are even more so. The Blaugranas, with hardly any changes in their squad, have the objective of reaching back-to-back finals and this time, winning it. As for the Rojiblancas, and their many new faces, they’ll cling to the dream of being able to make history and get into their first semi-final. May the best team win!"
Read more from Verónica Boquete during the game in our MatchCentre
What the coaches say
Dani González, Atlético: "It's been a fairly strange season for many reasons, and now most recently we've been affected by the virus. But the girls have prepared incredibly quickly and applied themselves very well. We know the huge opportunity we have ahead. We have to be on top form as quarter-finalists; it has not been ideal preparation. But we've not sacrificed any of the excitement or passion."
Lluís Cortés, Barcelona: "Despite the fact they're lacking players, Atlético will make this difficult for us. We have to stay true to ourselves, no matter what they give us."
The winners will take on Glasgow City or Wolfsburg in the semi-finals in San Sebastián on Tuesday.