El Clasico: Factors Affecting Saturday’s Fixture

Published 12/01/2016, 7:20 PM EST


El Clasico: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF.

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The 2 big giants of modern day football head face to face again. Every year, all the fans and pundits mark their dates and set their eyes as these two go head to head. All the world talks about till Saturday is how this time will it be different. It’s been a relatively poles apart start for the teams as they head to take the center stage. So today, let’s analyse and talk about the factors that will crucially decide this Saturday’s fixture. After all, Its EL CLASICO.

The 6 Point Deficit

Real Madrid lead the La Liga standings by 6 points. However, even though it’s in the early stages of the season, it’s a crucial lead to have. With Zinedine Zidane looking to add another trophy in his cabinet, after last season’s Champions League, he’ll be looking to extending this lead further.

With Atletico Madrid finding it difficult to keep up the pace, Real Madrid know a victory in Clasico is the only way for them to strengthen the grip for the title. A victory over their rivals will give them a 9 point advantage. That will be a huge mountain to climb for the Blaugranas. Luis Enrique must realize how important it is for him to win this fixture. Barcelona is unbeaten in 29 of their last 32 home matches in La Liga. With Camp Nou as the venue this weekend, he’ll be desperate to en-cash the home advantage. If Real draw the first blood at Camp Nou, they’ll have amazing momentum for the return fixture at Santiago Bernabau. Both sides must realize how crucial this Saturday’s fixture is for them.

Injuries

Gareth Bale at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Portugal against their Champions League fixture on November 22. Bale suffered an ankle injury and will not participate this Saturday.

Injuries are a major part of the game. No player in history has-not-ever been injured. However, this as a manager you hope not many from your squad are in the recovery period. As for Real, they’ll have to play without their in-form Gareth Bale. Bale’s injury is a huge loss for Real. Zidane knows how crucial Bale’s been to his side.Alvaro Morata will also miss out this match. As for Barcelona, they’ll be utterly delighted with Andres Iniesta back in the side. However, many doubt as to whether he would make it to the 90 minute mark. Jordi Alba would also be absent, opening that left-flank for the likes of Isco and Marcelo to attack. Enrique will have a tough time fllling that gap, with a defense that’s already struggling.

The Form

The word Undefeated will definitely be tested this weekend.

Real Madrid’s 6-1 Copa del Rey win over Cultural Leon on Wednesday extended the club’s unbeaten run to 32 games in all competitions — passing a mark set by Zinedine Zidane’s former mentor Carlos Ancelotti. The La Liga record for matches unbeaten is held by, what do you know, Barcelona (39 games), set during the reign of current Blaugrana boss Luis Enrique during the 2015-16 season. As for these are just stats and numbers, they’ll be all over Real Madrid fans will talk about. They know how sweet a victory over a broken Barcelona side would look like, on an already undefeated streak.

As for Barcelona, they have been somewhat indifferent in recent weeks. Not poor, but nowhere near their collective best. These injuries have led to regular reshuffles, particularly in defense, which has had a knock-on effect felt throughout the team. Another major concern for Barcelona this season has been the poor form of Sergio Busquets. The presence of Iniesta alongside him could do the 28-year-old a world of good. Confidence and fluidity appears to have evaded them in recent games as none of Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Celtic were overawed, instead asking the Catalonian side plenty of questions. Enrique is going through his worst time as a FCB manager. A victory over Real would give him a huge relief, not only from the fans, but an acceptance from the board as well.

Lionel Vs Cristiano

https://twitter.com/Twitugal/status/803333955789459456

As difficult as it is to digest, it’s true that Leo has not scored during the last five Clasico games. With 21 goals under his belt, he is the all-time leader in goals department for the fixture. Cristiano on the other hand, finally, won a major international trophy with his nation, Portugal, this summer after they beat France in the European Championship final. Moreover, the No. 7 is now the Liga’s outright top goalscorer, having inched ahead of Messi and Luis Suarez, both still on eight. Both these legends of modern-day football will be looking forward to making a mark on the fixture, which may even decide who wins it this year.

Probable Line-Ups

FC Barcelona:

(4-1-2-3)

–Marc ter Stegen-–

–Roberto-Pique-Mascherano-Digne-–

–Busquets–

–Rakitic-Iniesta(c)–

–- Messi-Suarez-Neymar–

Real Madrid:

(4-3-3)

–Navas-–

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–Carvajal-Pepe-Ramos(c)-Marcelo-–

–Modric-Kovacic-Casemiro-–

–Isco-Ronaldo-Benzema–

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So that’s for what we, at Essentially Sports can best predict for Clasico. It is now in the hands of God for the players who take the centre stage.
All these questions will be answered this Saturday 8:45PM IST. Stay tuned!

 

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Vandit Jain

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