Hello and Welcome to the cfrealmadrid.com. It’s time for El Classico and we are here with the Match Preview of Barcelona vs Real Madrid. This is the most anticipated match in the World of football. The biggest rivalry among the globe of soccer, the El Classico. We are lucky to witness the greatest match of a huge legacy and outstanding history with some of the greatest players.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid (The El Classico) is a match that matters to most of the fans and neutrals as well. Perhaps, It is the best match of a entire football season. Fans from all over the World, watch this match with great affection and interest. The two Spanish giants will get together at Camp Nou this time for this match. Now let’s discuss the Match Preview in detail.
El Classico is the most prolific match of the Europe elite clubs. In 242 encounters, Real Madrid have 95 wins whereas Barcelona have 96 wins and 51 matches ended as a draw. Barcelona have won more La Liga games against Real Madrid than any other side (72), while Real Madrid have beaten Barcelona the most often in all competitions (72 time). Another interesting fact is Real Madrid have gone six La Liga meetings without winning against Barcelona (D2 L4), their worst run in El Clásico since December 2011 (seven).
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has failed to score or assist in his last three games against Real Madrid in all competitions. Tonight, Real Madrid’s captain, Sergio Ramos, has the chance to become the player with the most appearances in El Clasico history (43). While Zinédine Zidane is unbeaten in his four managerial games at Camp Nou in all competitions (W2 D2) and he could become the first Real Madrid manager to remain unbeaten in five away Clasicos.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid-Match Preview:
The match will be very interesting as both of the teams are equal in points tally and this match will be a decider for the one Spanish club in La Liga race. Both have 35 points in the table. This match will be interesting as there is an on going political tensions around the Catalan environment. It will be interesting to see how Madrid will cope with the pressure of Camp Nou and fear of protests in the Catalonian movement.
Coming to the game itself, Barcelona had a bad start of the season but managed to come at no.1 position. Real Madrid also struggled in the matches and thrown away many points. In short, both teams have been at their best and have almost similar problems. Barcelona have managerial issues, at least their fans think so. Real Madrid is hit by the injuries. So, both of the teams are facing issues. The team who will control their nerves and manage the pressure will win the game. Barcelona have another advantage that is Messi. So this specific Barcelona vs Madrid will be a very interesting encounter.
Kick off timing:
The Legendary El Classico will kick off at 09:00 PM as per local time which is obviously the best time for such an intense game. Alejandro Hernandez will be the referee of the match who booked Sergio Ramos several times interestingly.
- Goalkeepers: Courtois, Areola, and Altube.
- Defenders: Carvajal, Ramos, Militao, Varane, Nacho, and Mendy.
- Midfielders: Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, and Isco.
- Attackers: Benzema, Jovic, Bale, Rodrygo, and Vinicius Jr.
Expected Starting Lineups – Barcelona vs Real Madrid:
Courtois and Ter Stegen will most probably start the match on No.1 positions. Courtois undoubtedly has been finding his feet in Los Blancos colors. He had a bizarre start of the season and faced a lot of criticism from the fans. Then, he finally managed to deliver some good performances. Ter Stegen, on the other hand, is far better and more settled goalkeeper within the ranks of Barcelona. In fact, MATS has 2 assists to his name which is really rare for a Goalkeeper. Although Courtois has more no. of clean sheets this season, in terms of individual comparison, Ter Stegen is more calm, composed, and experienced and ultimately the better Goalkeeper.
In the heart of defense, Varane and Sergio Ramos will start for Real Madrid. Sergio Ramos’s history with Barcelona in El Clasicos is not hidden to anyone. Ramos is the leader of the packed house of Madrid. He always steps up in high-pressure games. Real Madrid will need his presence on the pitch. Varane will be his counterpart in the defense. From Barcelona, Pique and Lenglet will start the match most probably. Talking about Varane, Varane has been poor this season mostly. However, Barcelona have conceded 20 goals so far and Real Madrid have conceded only 12 goals. This suggests that we have a better defense.
In the fullbacks positions, Carvajal and Mendy will start as we have limited options because Marcelo is not in the squad. Barcelona have multiple options when it comes to Full backs. They have Roberto and Semedo in the Right Back while Jordi Alba and Firpo on the Left Back. Jordi Alba is attack-oriented and Firpo is defensive-minded. Similarly, Roberto is attack-oriented and Semedo is defensively studded. This is surely going to give Barcelona an edge. However, I believe Barca will go ahead with Alba and Roberto as they would be planning to hit us hard.
Luckily, we have Mendy who is very defensive, always remains on his position, and is very solid at the back. Carvajal is the most useful defender with maximum assists for Madrid. His role will be very crucial against the Griezmann who likes to enter in the middle of the pitch from Left Flank.
Talking about the midfielders, it is the hottest gossip around that what will be the midfield of Real Madrid? Toni Kroos, Valverde and Casemiro will be the first choice options for Real Madrid. Both Isco and Modric are also in the squad. However, I think Zidane will include Isco to trigger diamond formation. Modric can be deployed in his role but Isco is more versatile in terms of attack. Valverde will perform the duties of a box to box midfielder with running up and down the pitch. Kroos will be doing what he does best and that is control the game and link the midfield with our attack. Modric can play his part with magical passing and chances creation after coming from the bench in the second half.
Casemiro will have an important role in the midfield as he will have to drop down to help with the defense and mark Messi. On the other hand, Barcelona have Busquets in the deep role and will start the match against us. De Jong is the other addition in the Barcelona squad. His passing ability and ball control is excellent. They also have Rakitic who always plays good against Real Madrid. They also have likes of Arturo Vidal but I think Rakitic will start the game.
In the attacking line, Madrid have options of Benzema which is quite obvious that he will lead the attack. Gareth Bale is in and out of the team and lost his starting spot to Rodrygo who is a promising young talent. Rodrygo can cause problems to Jordi Alba as he leaves the space on the flank when going forward. Bale’s position at the club is still doubtful and he will most likely sit on the bench. Also, his form is not up to the mark. So, Zidane will not select him.
Vinicius Jr. is included in the squad. Vinicius is exciting to watch every time he plays. In last season, When Roberto played against him, he literally outclassed Roberto with his moves and then Barcelona opted for Semedo in the next leg. If Roberto plays the game, Vinicius Jr. can challenge him and cause problems in the second half of the game coming from the bench.
The attacking trio of Barcelona is more dangerous than us. All their forwards have been contributing to the goals frequently, whereas only Benzema is scoring for Madrid. Griezmann came from Atletico and he will be a threat from the left flank. Suarez is too hot to handle with his physical poking with Sergio Ramos. Messi, the highest goal scorer in El Classico is simply magical and always finds a way to score or assist. We have to find a way to control him and restrict him in the midfield. Zidane deployed Casemiro and Kovacic for marking Messi in the past. A similar role can also be given to Valverde because Messi always drops into the midfield while attacking.
Tactical Match Preview:
Let’s dive into the tactical analysis section of the Match Preview. First of all, we have to note that Barcelona have not conceded a single goal from counter-attack this season. However, they have conceded 14 goals from open play, more than any team in the Spanish League. In their last match, Sociedad dominated possession against them and Barcelona struggled to get going.
This season, Barcelona have struggled in all big games including the UEFA Champions League away leg against Dortmund and La Liga games against Atletico and Sociedad. I noticed that they didn’t press that well , and were struggle in winning the ball before teams press them vertically. Reus of Dortmund and Oyarzabal of Sociedad made dangerous off-ball runs in the space behind their fullbacks. Those runs can cause problems in that space where Barcelona struggle closing down.
One thing I have noticed that Barcelona is not confident of their pressing from the last season. However, Barcelona has never relied too much on pressing, they usually play possession-based football. Sancho dribbling with diagonal switches caused Barcelona greater problems in shifting the lines. Playing Vinicius on Left Wing and accommodating Modric in midfield who brings diagonal switches from the right line of midfield can also do a similar job and create problems.
We have to absorb the pressure of Barcelona for longer stretches and not leave our positions. Hazard is a real blow for Madrid. Without Marcelo, we lose an edge of efficiency in the attack. Without Hazard, Benzema will have more pressure to do everything alone. Benzema will have to score goals, drop deeper to create chances, and do defensive work as well. So there will be added pressure on Benzema.
Isco acts as a bridge between the attacking line and midfield binding. On the other hand, If Vinicius play the match, he is great for breaking opposition lines. The role of Kroos will be very crucial in the midfield. Whenever the buildup of Madrid is suffocated, it’s the Kroos who turns the tables and bring change. Both Kroos, Valverde (or Modric) have to keep into good passing lanes (as Modric does) in order to break Barcelona’s lines and get them uncomfortable while defending in transition (the way Odegaard did against Barcelona).
The ability of Valverde to win the ball with his strength can be really beneficial for us. If Barcelona loses the ball in an open space with Valverde aiming to shoot, it will have some serious consequences. In some previous El Classicos, I noticed that Barcelona have hurt us on the counter attacks. However, having Valverde at our side gives me a real peace of mind. I mean, just look at the way he sprints and pressures the backline to ensure there is no easy path to a counter-attack. Real Madrid can implement a counter-press against Barcelona. Both Ramos and Varane have been good at stepping up and dealing with attacks from a high-line whereas Casemiro’s return provides some insurance and stability.
Barcelona will miss the presence of Arthur in their line-up. Rakitic season so far is not good as he has been out of favor just like Bale. He was dispossessed against Atletico and was invisible against Sociedad. So, Barcelona will have to decide it wisely whether to play him or not. However, the Croatian always played good against Los Blancos. Anyways, there are certainly some areas where we can exploit Barca. You can take a look at the expected lineup of Barcelona in the following image:
Well, it’s time for score prediction of the El Classico. It’s always very hard to predict Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Personally, I feel Barcelona is in a better position than us but I am optimistic here. I will go with a 1-2 scoreline in favor of Madrid because the pressure of Camp Nou is the same for Madrid as for Blaugrana and that is not to lose against Madrid. It is quite ambitious, but I think we have all the cards in the deck to win against Barcelona.
I will definitely support Madrid to win the El Classico and get three points to go to the top spot. That’s all from Barcelona vs Real Madrid Match Preview. What are your thoughts on our Match Preview, Lineups, Tactical analysis, and strategies? You can share your view by commenting below. I will be back with the Match Review of the El Classico right after the match, until then, Hala Madrid!