El Clásico Preview

One of the biggest derby games in world football is nearly upon on us, El Clásico will be shown on TV screen around the world on Sunday. Here is my preview as Real Madrid host Barcelona.

Real Madrid head into the game three points ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga, with a game in hand. Barcelona will be looking to keep the title race alive with all three points. El Clásico rarely fails to live up to the expectations.  If Real Madrid beat Barcelona on Sunday, the title is Real Madrid’s. After Barcelona’s dominance between 2007-2011/12 where they played some incredible football, you always thought there would be a dip at some point and I think that is what is happening with Barcelona now. Opposition teams realise that Barcelona are vulnerable and that they can be punished.

Zidane has done an incredible job since taking charge at the Santiago Bernabéu. A lot of people were unsure how it would go for Zidane as a manager, but he has completely turned them around. I think Real Madrid are favourites in this game, a game which is usually hard to call. With Neymar suspended for Barcelona, it weakens them – He is a key player and has been in great form this season.

Every time El Clásico comes around, the debate of who the best player in the world is resurfaces, Messi or Ronaldo? I have never participated in the debate, the reason being – They are both different, I feel like we should not be debating who is better and just appreciate them both for being phenomenal players.

Barcelona must be regretting the day they sold Dani Alves to Juventus because he would certainly walk into this Barca side at the moment. Watching his performance after letting him go for free must have been painful and is compounded by the fact that this is precisely the position where Barcelona have been found wanting for most of the season.

Barcelona will be low on confidence after some questionable performances. Barcelona huffed and puffed over two legs against Juventus, they failed to blow the door down. With Ronaldo continuing to fire on all cylinders, Barcelona will have their work cut out for them on Sunday. Ivan Rakitic and Iniesta are the sort of players that thrive on confidence and they are having the sort of season that suggests they do not have much faith in the leadership. Either that or they seem void of the kind of energy necessary to make an impact. Too many players are about to be 30 or are 30-plus. Barca’s strength and get out of jail card has always been the front three, but watching Messi drop deeper and deeper, is a constant reminder that this is a team not firing on all cylinders.

With Luis Enrique set to step down at the end of the season, it may just be a good thing for Barcelona. A new direction is needed, some fresh ideas to revitalise the team. Barcelona have been found wanting on too many occasions this season.

Prediction

I am going with Real Madrid on this one, based on recent performances and the fact that Neymar is suspended for Barcelona. I fancy Ronaldo to continue his good form and to see his name on the score-sheet yet again.

Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1

Predictions and comments welcome!

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