|Barça vs Real Madrid – El Clásico Match Preview
It is the biggest game in the world once again as FC Barcelona host rivals Real Madrid in the first Clásico of the season at the Camp Nou in a bid to reduce the points deficit to 3 in La Liga standings.
While Real Madrid are on a 31-game unbeaten run, Barça are not playing their best football of late and have found themselves six points behind Zinedine Zidane’s men, playing a draw in both of their last two league games.
Judging by form, it is valid to say Real Madrid are the big favourites to get all three points at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening but one should note that the Clásico is a different ball game entirely compared to other games in the league as it doesn’t respect form, or players or even your winning streak but it’s like a pendulum swing that moves to and fro so one can just hope the good side swings towards them.
Barça cannot afford to not win this game as a loss would mean they are 9 points behind their arch rivals with just 14 games played, something that will be extremely difficult to change and with the current level Barça are playing at, it’s safe to say that’s the most likely result. However, Barça need the win more than Real Madrid which gives Culés a reason to see the game.
Barcelona will be the happier side between the two when it comes to player’s availability as they will be delighted to welcome back two key players in Andrés Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti, both players are likely to start at the Camp Nou however, Mascherano might be given the nod ahead of the latter if Lucho plays 4-3-3. Jordi Alba also trained after picking up a knock, and he will be available for the game. The only Barça first team player out through injury is defender Jérémy Mathieu.
Marc André Ter Stegen will feature in his first Clásico and he will be needed to put up a good show if Barça are to get the result they want and need.
For Real Madrid, they will be missing the services of two key players in Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos which is a blow to them as both players are key to the club’s system. Isco is likely to deputise in place of Kroos in midfield and Zidane will be happy to have Casemiro back, one of the stars of the last Clásico. Morata is also out of the game through injury.
BARÇA VS REAL MADRID – EL CLÁSICO
Date: Saturday, 3 December, 2016
Time: 4:15pm CET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez
PREVIOUS FIVE MEETINGS
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona
Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid: DWWWWW
Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Iván Rakitic, Sérgio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar
Predicted Real Madrid Lineup: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Pepé, Sérgio Ramos, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Isco Alarcón; Lucas Vázquez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo
BarcaLens Prediction: El Clásico is so hard to predict but I sense that Barça will scoop this one despite the odds saying otherwise, Messi will rise to the occasion – Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid.