A sporting event cannot get bigger than the El Clasico. El Clasico is not just a match, it’s an emotion. It gets people around the world really excited. The rivalry has been such that the fans of either club do not talk to each other with a straight face. Zinedine’s men have been in good form lately, and are coming after a convincing win over Bayern Munich. The Catalonians have been rather inconsistent away from home. This will be yet another chapter in the generation old rivalry between both the clubs. The two clubs will lock horns today at Santiago Bernabeu. It would also be a stage for another argument, as to who is a better player, Messi or Ronaldo.
1. Home game for Real Madrid
The first leg of the El Clasico has already been played at the home of Catalonians which ended in a 1-1 draw. This is the home leg for Galactico’s who have been in prime form at home. On the contrary, the striped team has been dropping points away from their castle. This would be a huge plus for Zidane’s men who would want to increase lead at the top of the table and win the league. They have played 16 league games at home and haven’t even one game.
Neymar’s absence would hurt Barcelona
Neymar was banned by Spanish Football association for mocking the decision of the 4th official. Although, Barca did try to revoke the ban by appealing against it, but it was turned down by the association. Neymar has been a key player for them, scoring a lot of goals for the team. He has been pivotal this season in Barcelona’s wins, making him a must-have player for such an important match. This is definitely a huge setback for them before the match.
No proper replacement for Dani Alves
The 25-year-old, Dani Alves, had to end his long relationship with the Catalonians due to mishandling of his contract. Barcelona have never recovered from this blow and they are still searching for a replacement for their main stay right back. The Spanish mid-fielder, Sergio Roberto, has been filling in for Alves, moving away from his usual position. Roberto is not a natural defender, although he has done quite a job in this position, but that would not be enough against an attacking team like Real. Real forwards would be looking to get the most of this leakage in Barcelona’s defense.
Messi didn’t have a good last game
Barcelona’s superstar Messi has not been in the best of the lately. He didn’t have a good game against the Old Lady, having just one shot on the goal. But no one can write off a player like Messi so easily. The man has the ability to win matches for his team on his own. He would be a threat to the Real defense, but they would be comforted by the fact that he didn’t have a very well last game. Lately, they have too dependent on Messi, so if Messi has an off night, then it would be very difficult for Barca to win the match.
Barcelona's away form this season
The Catalonians have been great at their home, but have shown performances far below from their standards away from it. They have dropped points against a smaller team and have given shocking results away from home. In their last 6 matches away from home, they have won 3 matches, lost 2 matches and drew 1 match. This is certainly not one of their best forms and the galacticos would be looking to take advantage of that.