El Clasico: Barcelona Vs Real Madrid – A Preview




El Clasico: Barcelona Vs Real Madrid

El Clasico: Barcelona Vs Real Madrid

November 29, 2010: Fondly called the ‘El Clasico’, or ‘El derbi’ the greatest of all rivalries, between top Spanish clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid, is back with a bang as Barca hosts Los Galacticos at Camp Nou on Monday. After the UEFA Champions League final, the El Clasico is the most watched football match in the world. In a recent survey, it was shown that 32% of the Spanish population supports Real Madrid, while 25% of the population supports Barcelona.

Real Madrid currently leads at the top of the Spanish La Liga table with 32 points from 12 matches played, while home side Barcelona trail by a single point in the 2nd position. If the home side wins, it will propel them to the top of the league. This fact only just adds to the importance of the game. Last season, Barca won both the Clasicos, eventually becoming the Champions of Spain. This season also, the La Liga is totally dominated by these two teams.

Both teams have won all four of their previous matches coming into this game. For Barcelona, these wins include a 8-0 demolition of Almeria away, in which the little giant Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick. The same weekend, Real Madrid responded with a 5-1 drubbing of Athletic Bilbao, the five goals included a hat-trick by former Manchester United man and the self-proclaimed best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the 160 matches that have been played between the two, Real have won 68, Barcelona 62 and 30 have been draws. The last four of these have been won by Barcelona, including the emphatic 6-2 win at Camp Nou in the 2008-2009 season.

Barcelona comes into this match with an almost fit squad. The central defence of the home team will include Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, with Danny Alves on the right and Abidal on the left. The midfield will be managed by the trio of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets, while the front line will be composed of Lionel Messi, Pedro and David Villa with Victor Valdes in goal.

For the visitors, captain Iker Casillas will be in the goals, with Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho and Marcelo forming the back line in front of him. Khedira and Alonso will play the holding role, while Di Maria, Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo will most likely form the offensive midfield. The frontman will be Higuain with his industrious capacity to score.

The home support makes it a more favourable match for the Catalans, as Pique himself put it, ‘El Clasico is such that being the home side makes us the favourites’.

With both sides being in a tremendous form of late, how this one will turn out is anybody’s guess.

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Aastha Dua

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