As in the monumental clash between the two big teams, the commemoration and secondary plot doubled at the FC Barcelona meeting with Atlético de Madrid on Sunday evening.
Antoine Grizemann's return to Wanda, and how he will be received by his former local fans after the switch to Catalonia, is perhaps the most prominent. However, there are also a number of others, including the fact that Diego Simeone has never beaten Barca in the league and that visitors have lost each of their away matches (a total of three) that the suspended Sergio Busquets has not begun in 2019/2020.
Considering Real Madrid's narrow 1-2 victory over Alavés yesterday, this was a battle between second and fifth places with the Blaugrana able to regain first place in the League through victory. They will tie 31 points with their bitter opponents, but their goal difference will be greater and, as for Atleti, they can, when they beat their visitors, equalize them on 28 points, even though they will only reach third place given their meek accounts for 16 and 9 against (ie, only +7 versus +19 from FCB).
Atleti's shame in hitting the net, together with his extraordinary defense and Barcelona's struggle throughout the campaign, will show that this will be a difficult problem. So far, two 1-1 draws have been the result of their matches at this new stadium.
The Catalan press regarded it as a "second partial test" for the people of Ernesto Valverde, after they had passed their first Wednesday in the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at Camp Nou. However, in front of two major newspapers, it was called the "Fire Test": acid test, fire test, fire test.
The draw was "the first important test for the Barça title," wrote Edu Polo of Mundo Deportivo. In it, they can open a six-point deficit over their red and white enemies, while a victory 'will also be the best gift the club can give to celebrate its 120th birthday' and give the injured Ousmane Dembélé thrown away for 10 weeks after leaving Initial injury against former Dortmund employer.
He and Busquets are the two most prominent absences from the list of 18 players from Valverde's squad, who have been restored by the return of Sergi Roberto.
With an injury to Nelson Semedo, Roberto is expected to be placed on the right side while Junior Firpo protects Jordi Alba on the left. 'Big Sam' Umtiti is available and has just collected three matches for the first time in eternity, however, it is very likely that there will be a central match between Gerard Piqué and Clement Lenglet.
The middle section of the field is unknown because of the large hole left by Busquets. Ivan Rakitic is back in the picture and starts against Dortmund, but some curves have tilted the duo Arthur and Arturo Vidal in the middle of the field in front of the alternative shaft Frenkie de Jong assuming Busquet's usual responsibilities.
All scores against Germany, Griezmann, Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi will form the "MSG" trident at the top and try to extend the success generated by their chemical enhancements.
For Messi, this will be his last appearance before the possibility of receiving the Golden Ball tomorrow and he, like his colleagues, will do so in a new fourth yellow kit containing the Catalan red line symbol 'smile'.