Match Preview: Barcelona vs Real Madrid
Competition: La Liga 2020/21
Matchday: Matchday 7
Date and Time: Saturday; 24 October; 16:00 CEST
Venue: Camp Nou, Spain
Referee: Juan Martinez Munuera
The famous festive of Football “El-Clasico” is back! La Liga title race resumes with Barcelona facing Real Madrid who are currently 3rd in Laliga with 10 points from 5 games. Barcelona are currently 9th in the table with 7 points from 4 games. It doesn’t matter much currently as they are yet to play more games; it is just the beginning.
Barcelona and Real Madrid both suffered in their Last League game, Barcelona were defeated by Getafe 1-0 while Real Madrid were shocked by newly promoted team Cadiz by 1-0. But, Barcelona picked up their game rightfully back against Ferencvaros in the Champions League securing massive 5-1 victory. Real Madrid were disappointed by Shakhtar Donetsk in the UCL which means Barcelona are at a much better form than Real Madrid.
“I don’t expect Madrid to be vulnerable, the opposite,”
– Koeman when asked about Madrid’s recent form
This will be Koeman’s first Clasico as a Coach, but he has been a part of this famous clash as a Barca player. He had scored five goals in El-Clasico when he played for FC Barcelona. It will be interesting to see the battle between Zidane and Koeman, which is happening for the first time ever. This will probably be the first El-Clasico happening without fans, but, I am sure, there will be a lot of in-field noise to keep the vibe going.
Messi is the all-time top scorer of El-Clasico with 26 goals in total and 18 goals coming from La Liga battle. He is also the player leading the assist chart in El-Clasico with 14 assists in total.
Check out this article on Leo Messi’s top El-Clasico moments. ⇓⇓
HEAD TO HEAD:
Saturday’s El Clasico will be 181st meeting of Barcelona and Real Madrid in Laliga. Madrid edges ahead with 73 wins over Barcelona’s 72 win and remaining 35 games ended in a draw.
TEAM NEWS AND EXPECTED LINEUPS
This is the squad chosen by Ronald Koeman for El-Clasico.
Stegen is still out, which means Neto will get his first El-Clasico start. He has been doing a decent job for Barcelona in the absence of Marc Andre Ter Stegen. Umtiti’s return is still uncertain. Alba got medical clearance before but, it’s unlikely that he will start in El-Clasico. That means Sergino Dest will probably start as LB again, which also means Roberto is untouchable at his RB position. Pique and Lenglet duo will continue as usual.
Sergio Busquets will probably start in El-Clasico as he was given rest against Ferencvaros where he later came on as a sub. Koeman will have to choose between De Jong and Pjanic for partnering with Busquets in the pivot. Both showed good quality against Getafe, but it will probably be De jong who gets to start ahead of Pjanic. Messi and Fati are both are in superb form, I don’t think there’s any doubt on them.
Coutinho will probably start in that CAM position as usual; he has been brilliant for Barcelona ever since returning from Bayern, but we will also see some good mins of Pedri as he has been excellent for Barcelona so far. Koeman had given a chance to Trincao ahead of Griezmann against Ferencvaros, so Griezmann will probably start in El-Clasico. But, after that game, Trincao might have made Koeman rethink few things.
About Real Madrid, Hazard, Dani Carvajal and Martin Odegaard are out with injury, and Mariano Diaz and Alvaro Odriozola are unlikely to be available for the clash.
Koeman’s Press Conference
In his Press Conference ahead of Clasico, he talked about Griezmann. “Griezmann has options to play tomorrow,” Koeman said. “But it’s not fair to speak about his role every game because there are more players and the team is the important thing. ”
He also talked about odds of Pedri, Fati, Trincao getting more mins. “For me, the age of a player is not important. The important thing is performances,” the coach said. “I have no problem playing young players. To gain experience, you have to play games. I think about winning games, not a player’s age.” He also talked about whether Real Madrid are to be underestimated after recent disappointment they faced.
“There’s pressure on both teams in this game regardless of results. Maybe Madrid hasn’t been at their best in the last two games, but that doesn’t mean they come here with low morale. They’re a great team with experienced players who can handle pressure and know they have to win the game.”
He also talked about the team and the players. “I have no complaints about the players,” Koeman added when asked about the team spirit.
“They have shown massive ambition and hunger in every game. Games against Madrid are always a bit more special. We want to take another step forward, generate more confidence and, above all, we want to show that we are back on the right track.”
Koeman on El-Clasico without fans, “We are missing all the fans. It is a bit strange in such a huge field, and not having fans to create an important environment for the place. We need to get used to it and hopefully, soon there will be an atmosphere and, above all, in El Clasico, where the environment is significant. It’s like having one more player. It’s sad that it is happening in El-Clasico.
Barcelona La Liga form: WWDL
Barcelona form (all competitions): WWDLW
Real Madrid La Liga form: DWWWL
Real Madrid form (all competitions): DWWWLL
Real Madrid hasn’t beaten Barcelona at home since April 2016. So, It is quite difficult fixture from Real Madrid’s perspective. I will go with 4-2 win for Barcelona considering the options Barcelona have in their attack. Barcelona’s defence is still somehow vulnerable, so, Barcelona probably won’t get away with a clean sheet.