CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid head into their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg game tonight on the back of contrasting fortunes in La Liga’s title race last weekend.

Defending Champions, Barca lost 1-2 to bitter rivals Real Madrid in Saturday’s El Clasico, meaning their lead at the summit was cut to six points as a result of second-placed Atletico’s 5-1 win over Real Betis.
Atletico remains title outsiders but will be buoyed by the memory of overcoming Barcelona at the same stage in the Champions League two seasons ago before going on to claim Liga glory.

“For me, this game (Clasico) no longer exists,” said Luis Enrique, whose Barcelona side saw a phenomenal 39-match unbeaten run come to an end against 10-man Madrid.
“There is no pain or anything you can think about it we had many games without defeat, but defeat also teaches you things.

Opposite number, Diego Simeone, was able to make less taxing substitutions as Betis was put to the sword, and he confirmed Fernando Torres would start against Barca having opened the scoring on Saturday.
“Every game we’ve played against them has been different,” said Simeone, who will assess Saul Niguez after the midfielder was substituted with a knock to his ankle on Saturday.

“We’re preparing ourselves as well as we can so the game goes the way we want it to.”
Atletico was unbeaten in six matches against Barcelona during their glorious 2013-14 campaign but has lost on its previous three visits to Camp Nou.

TODAY
Barca vs Atletico
Bayern vs Benfica