Barcelona Versus Real Madrid: The winner of the world’s most important derby, which is more important than ever, will go to the top of La Liga before slip-up leaders Atletico Madrid play 24 hours later and possibly also take all three points.
Los Blancos outclassed the Catalans 3-1 at Camp Nou in September, and Ronald Koeman’s reign seemed to be coming to an end.
However, with captain Lionel Messi at the helm, the Dutchman has led a revolt. The domestic double is still very much on after an incredible run of 19 games without loss, which will culminate in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club next weekend.
“A Clasico is not like the other games.” Barcelona is doing well, [and] we are on a strong run, and we are struggling to win, “Koeman said in his pregame press conference.
But, even though the tournament comes to a close in the Spanish capital on Saturday evening, the Dream Team legend is unconcerned.
“Tomorrow’s outcome is not decisive; there are still several match days left and tough games ahead,” he said, referring to the upcoming meeting with Atleti.
The visitors’ goalkeeper is Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who is protected by a flat back trio of Clement Lenglet, a returning Gerard Pique, and breakout star Ronald Araujo as part of the 3-5-2 that has led to recent success.
With a rejuvenated Sergio Busquets in the middle, wingbacks Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest will be able to get forward, while Frenkie de Jong (progressing from centre back) and Pedri provide support.
Given that Antoine Griezmann skipped training to attend the birth of his third child, who was born on April 8, Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi will form a front line that will look to exploit a defence that will be without both Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos.
When the 13-time champions thrashed Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield in the Champions League midweek, the aspect played little role. A struggling Premier League PINC +0.6 percent holding club, on the other hand, is a very different prospect than a Barca led by the best player in the world.
Sit back and prepare to be entertained in front of a worldwide audience of several hundred million people.
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