El Clasico: Factors Affecting Saturday’s Fixture

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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.

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