Real Madrid host Barcelona this weekend at the Bernebau in one of the most awaited games of the year, with a special debutante and a notable absentee. This time around, the Clasico comes to us on the backs of a 3-0 Real win over Liverpool and a 3-1 Barca win over Ajax. Both teams are on song right now and this match will definitely be a treat to watch.
Saturday’s match will see the long awaited competitive debut of Luiz Suarez for the Blaugrana and will most definitely see Gareth Bale miss out on the action due to a muscle strain, which also kept him out of this week’s Champion’s League action. All eyes will be on Suarez as the Uruguayan links up with Messi and Neymar for the first time ever. Suarez will add the extra bite to the attack that Pedro just doesn’t provide. Lionel Messi is just one goal away from equaling the all-time La Liga goal scoring record and what better place to sink it than at the Bernebau? Nothing would please Barca coach Luis Enrique more than a victory over Real counterpart Ancelotti in his first ever Clasico as a manager.
“We are all really looking forward to the arrival of Luis,” Messi said, as reported by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. “He will bring a lot of strength to the team. He is a forward who scores a lot of goals. I am happy as he has spent a lot of time without getting onto the pitch.” said the Argentine.
On the other hand, Ronaldo has been absolutely brutal this season, inspiring Real to eight straight wins after two consecutive losses and scoring an astounding 21 goals in the process. The lack of Bale shouldn’t be a major cause of concern for Los Blancos, who just might not be able to play Ramos – which might be a major blow. If Ramos does start, the Galacticos will definitely fancy their chances of a win over their arch rivals, with their midfield showing us just how good it can be in the game against Liverpool this week. Real will look to upset Barca’s unbeaten Liga run and inch closer to the top of the table, although they will still remain one point behind the Catalans.
Barca’s attack is undeniably brilliant, and tactically the Catalans do have an advantage. Barca will be looking to capitalize on Casillas’ recent lack of form. At the same time, Real have the potential to create more chances with Rodriguez and Isco linking up in the midfield. Real also have the almost magical home advantage this weekend, and Ronaldo alone can drastically tip the scales in Madrid’s favour.
What to expect:
Suarez-Messi-Neymar link ups.
Isco and Rodriguez going wide and creating chances.
Real’s possible defensive lapses.
A downright brilliant match.
Real Madrid (4-4-2):
Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo, Rodriguez, Kroos, Mordic, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo
Bravo, Alves, Pique, Mathieu, Alba, Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi, Neymar, Messi, Suarez
Predicted Score: Real Madrid 3 – 2 Barcelona
From a fan’s perspective, thank you FIFA for deciding THIS would be Suarez’s first match! This is going to be a cracker!