Barcelona vs Real Madrid preview
Just a fortnight after their previous clash, Barcelona and Real Madrid are ready for yet another El Clasico in La Liga. This is the third between the two teams this season, with both teams having a win to their name in the current season. While Real Madrid won in the La Liga clash held in October, Barcelona won the first leg of the Copa De Rey just two weeks back.
With Barcelona currently amassing a nine-point lead at the top of the league table, it is perhaps the last chance for Real Madrid to make the title race enjoyable. However, doing so against the home crowd of Barcelona will be a massive task in itself.
The two teams have experienced contrasting forms in the league and the European competitions. While Barcelona have been nearly flawless in the league, they crashed out of the Champions League group stage and were knocked out of the Europa League too by Manchester United.
On the other hand, Real Madrid have fared poorly in the league but always brought their best in the Champions League. After finishing first in their groups, the defending champions performed stellar against Liverpool at Anfield, winning the match 5-2. They now face Chelsea in the quarter-final in a repeat of last year’s clash.
For Real Madrid, though, it has been the league matches, especially against teams with low blocks, where they have massively struggled. This has been down to the attackers’ poor start to the season, especially Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr.
For Barcelona, though, it has been a season to remember. The team has conceded just eight goals, the least among Europe’s top five major leagues. On the other end of the pitch, new signing Robert Lewandowski has been scoring goals left, right and centre. The Pole has scored 15 goals, the most by any player in the league.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid team news
Barcelona have had their fair share of injuries this season which has affected their European campaign. For the match against Real Madrid, the Blaugrana will be without their star winger Ousmane Dembele and midfielder Pedri. However, centre-back Ronaldo Araujo will be available for selection after serving a one-match suspension. Other than that, the club faces no injury concerns.
Barcelona Predicted Line-up: Ter Stegen; Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde; Busquets, Gavi, De Jong; Torres, Lewandowski, Raphinha
Real Madrid will be sweating over the fitness of Karim Benzema, who was injured in the Champions League against Liverpool. The Frenchman, however, is expected to recover in time for the clash. However, defender David Alaba is still unavailable. Ferland Mendy, though has returned to the squad after recovering from his injury and could play a part in the match.
Real Madrid Predicted Line-up: Courtois; Mendy, Rudiger, Militao, Carvajal; Camavinga, Kroos, Modric; Vinicius, Benzema, Valverde
Robert Lewandowski has been the leading man for the team in attack, scoring 15 goals and providing five assists in 21 matches. These are brilliant numbers and ultimately justify the fee that the club forked out for him last summer. The Pole has been their leading man scoring one-third of the team’s goals. With players such as Dembele and Raphinha not playing regularly, the consistent performance of Lewandowski has been one of the significant reasons why Barcelona are en route to winning their 27th La Liga title.
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema has roared back into form for Real Madrid in the second half of the season. The Frenchman has scored 11 goals, provided three assists, and helped Real Madrid get consistent results in the league and Europe. And Benzema has always had a knack for scoring crucial goals that help his team win, and Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping that he has several of them when they take on Barcelona at Camp Nou.
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Barcelona vs Real Madrid predictions
It is very hard to pick a winner in El Clasico in recent seasons owing to the incredible results the match can deliver. Last season Barcelona thrashed Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu before losing the next game this season.
Furthermore, these matches always bring out extra motivation in players, which means the current form usually does not play a significant part in the game’s outcome. Barcelona in the league, though, have been a level above the rest, and with the support of the home fans, they will be more than a match for Real Madrid.
FootTheBall predicts a 3-1 win for Barcelona.