The upcoming match between Spain’s greatest rivals on the 3rd of April 2016 could well be the decisive factor in determining who will be crowned the La Liga champions this year. Barcelona will go into the fixture as strong favourites, courtesy of their longest-ever unbeaten streak. But it would be foolish to count Real Madrid out totally. Here’s a look at why Barcelona should not underestimate the La Decima winners:
Los Blancos have performed better, if not their best, since Zinedine Zidane took over from Rafa Benitez. The team has stabilized under his reign and Zidane’s tactics will play an important role against a Barcelona team that has looked perfect in almost all departments of the game.
Keylor Navas has put up dazzling performances for Real Madrid between the goalposts throughout the season and if he manages to replicate those performances, Barcelona’s attackers will have to have their shooting boots on and laced up as tight as possible. Real Madrid’s backline faces what is perhaps a mountain of a challenge. They need to contain Barcelona’s attacking juggernaut of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, who have been tearing defences apart throughout the season. The centre-backs- Ramos, Pepe and Varane- have world-class defending capabilities and all of them performed decently in the recent international friendlies. Marcelo, too, can wreak havoc on the left side on his day .
In the midfield, Toni Kroos will be high on confidence having scored twice for the German National Team in the friendlies. Luka Modric is an indispensable asset in the midfield because of his ability to dictate play both while defending or moving forward. James Rodriguez has the capability to create chances for Real Madrid as well as score sensational goals. Isco , Casemiro and Kovacic all have the ability to rise up to the occasion in times of need.
Real Madrid’s chances of winning the game critically depend on their performance in front of goal. The attacking trio of Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo can send chills down the spine of any defence and the Catalans will have to come up with special tactics to contain them. Cristiano Ronaldo has a good opportunity to silence his critics who have severely lashed at him throughout the season for surprisingly under-performing in the big games and Barcelona cannot afford to take him lightly because it is a fact that he still tops the chart for the most goals scored in La Liga. Bale and Benzema have had a season disrupted by injuries but it is not for nothing that both of them, especially Bale, are considered among the most dangerous forwards in the game. If the three of them are in proper sync on saturday, then Barcelona will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to win the game.
With a gap of 10 points between them and Barcelona, Real Madrid have to win this crucial game in order to be in the race for the trophy which has eluded them so many times in the past few years.