Barcelona, Jan 29 (IANS) FC Barcelona midfielder Adra Turan will face up to his immediate past when his new side faces his former football club in the most important game of the weekend in the La Liga here on Saturday afternoon.

The game at the Camp Nou stadium sees the league leaders Barcelona take on the side second in the table knowing a win will put them three points clear with a game in hand, while a victory for Atletico would see them regain the leadership they lost a week ago after failing to win at home against Sevilla, reports Xinhua.

Currently, Barcelona have 48 points — same as Atletico, who are second on goal difference. However, Barcelona have played a game less than Atletico’s 21, due to the postponement of the Catalans’ match against Sporting Gijon.

Meanwhile for Turan, it sees him come face to face with his immediate past after joining Barcelona from Atletico last summer.

“I have been thinking a lot about the game. I love Atletico,” the Turkish international declared in Spanish sports paper, Diario AS on the eve of the match. Turan added that he would be “a bit nervous” before the game kicked off, but that he would forget the nerves as soon as things go under way.

Saturday is also his 29th birthday and he said the chance to take all three points would be a perfect birthday present.

Barcelona will be at almost full strength for the game with Neymar and Lionel Messi having shown they have shaken off the slight muscle problems which have troubled them in recent weeks and head coach Luis Enrique will line the two in attack alongside Luis Suarez.

Atletico’s defense is without doubt their strong point and they have conceded just eight goals in their 21 league games to date. And it will be a case of the immovable object of Atletico’s defense pitted against the irresistible attack of Barcelona who have netted 52 league goals so far this campaign.

Striker Fernando Torres is working to be fit enough to play after missing out in Atletico’s Copa del Rey defeat to Celta Vigo in midweek, but there are increasing doubts over miss-firing Colombian Jackson Martinez, who was left out in midweek and played only a cameo against Sevilla.

Expect Barcelona to dominate the ball and look to find a way through, while Atletico look to their defense and the pace of French frontman Antoine Griezmann to take the points back to Madrid.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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