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    Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 5 things that will happen in El Clasico

    Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 5 things that will happen in El Clasico
    Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 5 things that will happen in El Clasico

    La Liga as a whole is adjusting to life without both CR7 and M10, the latter of whom joined PSG in the summer. Now, the league’s most important match will be played without arguably the two greatest players ever to kick a ball.

    Los Blancos are in second place in La Liga, three points behind Real Sociedad but with a game in hand. The Blaugrana remain two points and five places behind, despite all the rumours of their collapse. They have only lost one La Liga game this season.

    The first El Clasico of the season is also the first to be handled by two former Everton managers, both of whom were extremely unsuccessful. Perhaps more than anything else, it’s a barometer of Spanish football’s decline.

    At the Camp Nou, how will the two bitter rivals line up? Who will emerge victorious? Continue reading for five guesses.

    1. Predicted Barcelona XI

    With Pedri, Braithwaite, and Araujo out, and Dembele a major question, Barca should be able to field a formidable XI on Sunday.

    Ter Stegen starts in goal, with Pique partnering Garcia, who scored the game-winning goal against Dynamo Kyiv earlier this week. Alba will provide a burst of energy and experience at left-back, while Mingueza will add defensive bite down the right flank.

    At the base of the midfield, Busquets will be in charge of maintaining possession and keeping Barca ticking. Because of his lack of mobility, de Jong and Gavi will have a lot of physical work to do while still trying to get the ball to the strikers.

    Sergino Dest has been a pleasant surprise at right-wing recently, and he may possibly stay there. With both feet, the United States international can deliver lethal shots and crosses, and having him further up the pitch should alleviate any defensive concerns.

    Despite his inexperience and the fact that he is returning from a long-term injury, Ansu Fati is swiftly becoming a crutch for this Barcelona club. Through the middle, he and Memphis Depay possess the secret to unlocking Real Madrid’s defence.

    2. Predicted Real Madrid lineup…

    Real, like Barca, has a variety of fitness issues. Bale and Isco are both out, while Hazard, Asensio, and Ceballos aren’t expected to play much, if at all. Carvajal says he “hopes” to return, but starting him is a long shot. Nonetheless, they have enough talent and experience to cause major harm to Koeman’s team on any given day.

    Thibaut Courtois will remain in goal, backed up by Militao and Alaba, with the latter coming inside from his left-back position against Shakhtar in midweek. At full-back, Mendy and Vazquez would provide not only industry but also attacking zeal.

    Although Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro are among the world’s most decorated midfielders, they have seen it all. That experience in the middle could be crucial against a younger Barcelona side, not to mention their outstanding ball-handling abilities.

    Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo, two Brazilian widemen, will aim to drive inside and take advantage of Barcelona’s lack of mobility through the midfield. They will have the pleasure of flanking Karim Benzema, who will continue to be Real Madrid’s major goal threat while also creating space for his younger teammates to cause havoc. Barcelona will find it difficult to retain a clean sheet against this attack.

    3. Can Ansu Fati join the Clasico goalscoring gang?

    Despite the fact that Barca lost, Ansu Fati made an early effect on El Clasico last season, scoring an eighth-minute equalizer in a 3-1 defeat on his first appearance in the league.

    Only three players in Clasico history have scored in each of their first two games: Samuel Eto’o in 2005, who scored in all three of his starts, Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2007 (two), and Pedro Rodrguez in 2010. (two). If Fati can get back on the internet, that’s some fantastic company to be in.

    And, given his strong start to the season, don’t rule it out. After regaining fitness, he has already scored two goals in just 94 minutes of La Liga action this season, starting once and coming off the bench twice. Only Memphis Depay (who has played 720 minutes!) has scored more goals for the Blaugrana. Fati scored four goals in seven appearances during the injury-plagued 2020/21 season.

    Fati is on the rise, and many believe he will be Messi’s actual replacement. El Clasico is the ideal venue for demonstrating this.

    4. Rodrygo paves his way into Ancelotti’s Clasico plans

    Rodrygo has struggled to hit the net in La Liga this season, scoring just once in six games. But in the Champions League, he’s demonstrated his worth with two goals in three appearances, the most recent of which came in Madrid’s 5-0 win against Shakhtar on Tuesday. He was a nightmare in the game, completing two dribbles and creating two chances while taking three shots.

    His previous two league appearances have been one-half cameos, with the last one coming off the bench after the interval in a 2-1 loss to Espanyol after not coming out of the tunnel for the final 45 minutes against Villarreal. However, Ancelotti has confessed that dropping the Brazilian after his superb European heroics in midweek would be difficult.

    “He did well too and I liked his defensive work,” he said. “I don’t know [if he’ll start vs Barcelona], but it would be tough to make a change. We’ll need to look at things over the coming days. It’s a different game.”

    This would be Rodrygo’s first time in the Clasico bear pit if he starts. The Brazilian could draw inspiration from Ansu Fati’s achievements thus far, giving Real Madrid the edge they need to return to Madrid with a resounding victory.


    5. Score prediction

    Koeman has already lost two of his Clasicos as a manager, and he hopes to avoid being only the second manager in history to lose his first three. But in Ancelotti, he is up against a manager who has lost three and drawn two of his five visits to the Camp Nou. All three defeats happened during his previous term in charge of Real Madrid, and he may become only the second Los Blancos manager to lose in his first four visits to Barcelona, the other being Leo Beenhakker in 1988.

    In other words, a powerful force is colliding with a moving object – at least according to historical accounts. Given how acrimonious both managers can be, don’t be surprised if this one ends in a stalemate.

    Predicted score: Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid


    Read Also: We wanted Messi to play for us for free- Barcelona president, Laporta


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