The title race in La Liga is getting tighter as Atletico withered while Barcelona and Madrid triumphed last weekend. This weekend, it is El Classico’s time. It will be more decisive than ever to determine which side shall be the main challenger for the top leaders which has only one and three points clear to them. This would be the most mouthwatering game compared to the reverse fixture as both sides have been in their positive trend lately.
The teams’ previous matches
Los Blancos secured a necessary win over Eibar last weekend by two goals to nil. Marcos Asencio and Karim Benzema scored their winning goal at their home turf. Unfortunately, they are still sitting on the third of the table.
Blaugrana also sealed an important win while hosting Real Valladolid. They had to wait till the last minute to break the deadlock through Ousmane Dembele’s close range shot. Such victory has brought Lionel Messi and Co closer to La Liga leaders by one point margin only.
Zinedine Zidane might be opting for 3-4-2-1 again with Karim Benzema upfront supported by Vinicius Junior and Marco Asencio behind the Frenchman. The only concern from Madrid is the absence of Sergio Ramos, along with Daniel Carvajal plus Eden Hazard who are still injured.
Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman would still be deploying 3-4-2-1 with Messi-Griezmann and behind Ousmane Dembele upfront. In the midfield, Pedri and Sergio Busquets will still be operating in the middle while Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest are occupying the flanks. Frankie de Jong would be dropping off as the centre back as well as defensive midfielder. On their injury table, there are Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati and Phillipe Coutinho and Moussa Wague who are still ruled out for this fixture.
Players to watch
The veteran striker Karim Benzema is current top scorer in Madrid. He has scored 18 goals and six assists in La Liga. The French forward is the main man on Los Blancos’ attacking line. Some other vital figures to watch are Marco Asencio, Lucas Vasquez and the Brasilian youngster Vinicius Junior.
Leo Messi is still the top performer in the Catalan side with 28 goals and nine assists in La Liga and Champions League this season. Some other notable names to watch are the Dutchman Frankie de Jong who has been occupied a new role lately, as the sweeper/defensive midfielder with freer position to explore the area for attacking as well as defending.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona Prediction
Both teams are likely to employ identical formation and tactical approach, which lead to more intensity in the game. Barcelona has slightly more convincing form than the home side, which is more pragmatic in their system. Considering the updates of both sides, a stalemate is the perfect result.