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Griezmann lockout: Barcelona’s brilliant record vs the Atletico Madrid superstar

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Yet another La Liga classic kicks off tonight as Barcelona make the trip to the Spanish capital to face off against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The reverse fixture was rather kind to Barça, with Joao Felix’s goal enough to separate the two sides despite some solid chances for Atletico.

Tonight, though, will be a different ball-game completely. Diego Simeone’s men will be out for revenge, and will be making life very difficult for Felix, especially, who did not hold back on his celebration at home.

However, Felix is not the only player that gets especially a hard time in this fixture. Antoine Griezmann is arguably the biggest player that has shared the pitch for both Barcelona and Atletico, and is not always kindly received by the event, fans, or other players.

The Frenchman signed for Barcelona for €120 million, and played at the Camp Nou for two years before moving back to Atletico Madrid in 2021. The capital outfit made his signing permanent in 2023 for €20 million.

Now on to his eighth season for Atletico, Griezmann does not boast of a rather happy record when facing Barcelona.

Stat attack: Yet to score a league goal vs Barcelona

Griezmann has played a total of 30 matches against Barcelona, spanning to his time as a Real Sociedad player, and he has won only five of those games, losing a mammoth 19 and drawing five.

Of those five wins, one has come in the Champions League, and four in La Liga. Interestingly enough, though, only one of those wins has been while he has been at Atletico Madrid — three during his Sociedad stint, all three at the Anoeta, courtesy of the ‘curse’.

What is even more intriguing about this record is that Griezmann has never scored against Barcelona while playing for Atletico in the league.

He has a total of two goals (and three assists) against the blaugranes, both of which came during his time in the Basque county. With Atletico, he has just an assist to his name against his former side.

Griezzy was completely locked out against Barcelona in the 1-0 loss this season, as well, and came away with no shots on target, no chances created, and no dribbles completed in 90 minutes.

Locked out. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

What to expect from Griezmann tonight

Credit where credit is due, Griezmann has been one of the best players in the world over the last couple of seasons, and arguably the best in La Liga, as well.

His job and role are no longer stuck to the goal contributions, though, if they ever were, but have evolved him into one of the most well-rounded midfielders of the generation.

The Frenchman will look to drop deep, often level with Koke and Rodrigo de Paul, and try to bait Barcelona’s midfield into pressing before he himself moves forward, or one of the wingbacks is released into open spaces.

He also boasts of a tremendous work ethic and will drop as deep as into the box to clear the ball and cause turnovers, much like against Inter Milan earlier this week.

Griezmann’s movement in and around the box will be difficult to track, especially because he has been given a completely free role by Diego Simeone.

However, much like last time, if the midfield can control the game well enough, he will not get to float between the lines and push his team forward.

While Atleti have a ton of superb players, another shut-out from Griezmann will certainly help Barcelona’s chances of coming out with all three points today.

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