Filipe Luis and Atletico Madrid know a thing or two about taking Barcelona out of its eye-popping, goal-producing comfort zone of possession (is that trademarked? Call me, Barca).
Atletico has held its Champions League and La Liga rivals to 0-0, 1-1 and 0-0 draws in three matches this season, and one of the clubs will break that deadlock over the coming weeks as the teams begin its UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie on Tuesday.
The first leg will be away from Madrid at the Nou Camp, where Atletico hasn’t visited since a scoreless Super Cup draw in August.
Luis said that Barca was one of the opponents they least wanted to see, not because Atletico can’t handle them but because of the energy that can be sapped from a side in overtaking the Blaugrana. And his side is prepared to counter, according to Football Espana:
“Scoring at the Camp Nou isn’t easy and stopping them from scoring is even harder,” Filipe predicted.
“We have to stop them from playing their game and try to counter them. We know they’re going to look to dominate. It’s hard to say who goes into the game in better form. We’re both playing well with different styles of play.
“We will defend and counter, while they’ll take possession and try to tire us out.”
If only it was kick-off time already…