Betting.Betfair

Rivaldo Exclusive: Messi and Suarez likely to give Barca edge against Atleti

Messi and Suarez will be in confident form after helping secure World Cup qualification
Join today View market

There is a huge La Liga clash on Saturday evening as Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid's new home for the first time. Betfair Ambassador and Barca legend Rivaldo is expecting a cracking game, with his old team just about coming out on top...

"Lionel Messi took responsibility on his shoulders with the national team and succeeded in his mission, which certainly left him very happy, so I expect him to put up another show in a very demanding clash."

Focus back on domestic action after World Cup places secured


Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the biggest stars at Barcelona, played key roles in helping their national teams qualifying for the World Cup in Russia.

The Argentinian was brilliant, scoring a hat-trick in Ecuador, giving another sign of his powerful start of the season. Suarez, meanwhile, contributed with a brace in Uruguay's 4-2 victory over Bolivia and will be looking to replicate this form at the club.

Both players will be well relieved - especially Messi - as they were under heavy pressure by fans and press, and now it's time to refocus at the club and try to earn the most titles they can until next summer.

The usual fatigue caused by these international breaks could play its part this weekend but, with the World Cup mission complete, that tiredness tends to be seriously reduced.


Visit of Barca the first big match at Wanda Metropolitano


Atlético Madrid are making the transition from Vicente Calderón, where they achieved lots of success, to the new Wanda Metropolitano where they are trying to build something similar, or even better.

The team has been fighting with Real Madrid and Barcelona over the past few years, and I'm expecting great difficulties for Barca on Saturday against a very strong opponent that plays very well and will have huge support from their fans.

So, this should be a great football match between two excellent teams. I still believe Barcelona have the capability to hurt their opponent and claim another win, currently priced at around 13/8.

Lionel Messi took responsibility on his shoulders with the national team and succeeded in his mission, which certainly left him very happy, so I expect him to put up another show in a very demanding clash.


Political tension won't affect players


We all know that things are a little tense at Spain these days, and the visit of a Catalonia team into the capital could always be a problem, but I think things are getting better now and soon will end.

Furthermore, we have lots of foreign players at both teams and I'm not seeing political tension diving into the pitch.

"Los Colchoneros" will certainly support their team very strongly, but that's perfectly normal, as Diego Simeone's team tend to captivate their fans thanks to a remarkable fighting spirit.

It will be a great clash n a superb stadium. May the best team win (Barcelona, I hope!).

Join today View market
More Spanish Football