I don’t fully remember the last time I worked on an El Clasico Preview without us actually being in the lead when looking at the standings! Having said that, this shouldn’t change the fact that Los Meregues should be giving their all in the upcoming match as they now have the chance to increase the difference to nine points between them and the Catalans.
Match: Barcelona VS Real Madrid
Location: Camp Nou
Time: Saturday December 3 at 6:15 PM (KSA)
Now that we have gotten that part out of the way, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind ahead of this Clasico. Let’s start with the simple things first and go to the more detailed aspects later on!
Current La Liga Top 5:
- Real Madrid – 33 Points
- Barcelona – 27 Points
- Sevilla – 27 Points
- Atletico Madrid – 24 Points
- Real Sociedad – 23 Points
Los Blancos are now six points ahead of Barcelona in the standings (which in all honesty could have been a lot higher if Real Madrid didn’t go through a minor drop in form) and with a win on the night, that lead could extend to nine points!
Not Only Barcelona:
Usually, towards the end of the season, we tend to only worry about Barcelona (or, more recently, Atletico Madrid as well) and see how far we are ahead or behind them. Now, it looks like the dark horse of the season could in fact be Sevilla! Beating the Catalans on Saturday night will not only increase our advantage over them but it will also guarantee that we are at least six points ahead of Sevilla as well.
The Return of Iniesta:
No matter who you support or who you may or may not love, there is no denying the quality that Andres Iniesta brings to the team. During his injury, Barcelona seemed to lose that extra spark and therefore they need the Spaniard to come back and control the midfield like he always does so effortlessly. He is expected to return for El Clasico with the only question being whether he is fit enough to start the match or not.
Carlos Henrique Casemiro:
He’s back and ready to begin El Clasico, whether he will or not fully depends on Zinedine Zidane. He played the full 90 minutes in the Copa del Rey match against Cultural Leonesa so that could be a sign that he won’t be starting against the Catalans on Saturday. Personally, I don’t see the Brazilian starting the match on the night, especially when given the fact that Mateo Kovacic has been sensational so far ever since Casemiro’s injury.
The Catalans Are In Pain:
Usually, being in second place less than half way through the season isn’t much to complain about but it sure is for Barcelona! They’re in second place right now with six points separating them from first, which is occupied by their fiercest rivals. It’s difficult to argue against what Gerard Pique said earlier this week when he stated that “This Clasico is more important for Barcelona than it is for Real Madrid”.
It’s difficult to judge either team on past form when they arrive to El Clasico as they always treat this match like a final with millions around the world watching their every move. So, Barcelona being six points behind first place should not be an indicator to what we should expect but for our sake, let’s pretend like it is for now…
Some Positives If All Else Fails:
Let’s say that Barcelona come out fighting and are able to take the full three points on the night, which isn’t as unimaginable as people are making it out to be. The good(ish) part of all that is Real Madrid will still be in first place but, of course, the downside would be that they are only three points ahead of second place and we all know that this isn’t something that could in any way be considered a ‘comfortable lead’.
My Predicted Lineup:
Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo
Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Isco
Lucas Vazquez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema
Now, Let’s Prepare:
Madridistas, bring out whatever it is that you consider to be your good luck charms, perform all types of “prematch rituals” you need to, and get ready to scream your lungs out on the night because this is never just another ordinary game. This is El Clasico and we know all too well how it could go.