On Saturday evening, FC Barcelona take on the relentless Atletico Madrid in a top-of-the-table clash that sees the two teams currently only separated by goal difference.
This scenario has only arisen three times in the previous 20 years, with Atletico victorious on two occasions.
However, the most recent time was at Camp Nou last season when Tito Vilanova’s Barca ran out 4-1 winners, stretching their lead to nine points and eventually winning the La Liga title. Now Vilanova's successor, Tata Martino, will be hoping for a similarly powerful performance from his Barca squad this weekend.
In the wake of Lionel Messi’s triumphant return to first-team action after a two month lay-off from a hamstring injury, Cesc Fabregas’ man-of-the-match performance, and Neymar declared fit for this weekend, Martino has been left with a serious selection headache.
With his two goals against Getafe, Messi has overtaken Pedro as the top scorer this season with 16 goals, and the trio of Fabregas, Alexis and Neymar all on 11 goals. Cesc (12) and Neymar (10) also lead the way with assists for the team.
With five players all on seemingly top form vying for only three starting places in attack, Martino has conceded that he will have to disappoint some of his players. Speaking after the victory against Getafe he said: “It saddens me that some players might feel less important. I’ll have to be unjust with one or two of my players.”
Martino did however concede that: “Cesc was our best player tonight.” With Fabregas only starting due to Neymar’s late omission due to a stomach bug.
Martino was quick to put his voice behind the fact that this weekend will pose a challenge for him to pick the right team.
"You all know Saturday’s line-up is a big problem for me," he said.
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