Senyera At The Stefano: Barcelona Classico Hopeful

Introduction

Talking about football, in general, is good but writing about a specific world-class fixture just feels poetic. One such fixture when the world comes together to watch two giants in the world take each other on for glory. Barcelona will take the La Liga 2019-20 champions, Real Madrid. However, the table positioning looks much different from the last season’s standing. Atletico Madrid holds on to a very narrow single-point lead to Barcelona. Real Madrid also has kept themselves alive in the Spanish title race. They are in the third position with 63 points and only 3 points behinds their derby rivals Atletico Madrid.

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Real Madrid’s current situation

El Classicos are always special in world football. However, what makes the soon to be played El Classico more special, is the drama that surrounds both the clubs. Real Madrid has a tight schedule this week as they have just defeated Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League. That too despite the team captain Sergio Ramos was out due to an injury. Apart from that what came as a blow to the white side of Madrid, was another center-back, Rafale Varane had to miss the week as he tested positive for Corona-Virus. The side looks shaky with a lot of injuries but can prove dangerous if allowed to attack.

El Classico

FC Barcelona’s current situation

FC Barcelona managing the crisis at the club and a lot of controversy over captain Lionel Messi’s future at the club, newly elected president, exit from Champions League, etc. Despite all these facts, FC Barcelona has climbed the table to 2nd place after a questionable start as the Koeman’s side were standing 14th in the table early in November. Even with injured players, this side is likely to make a comeback.

FC Barcelona has had a poor score recently against Real Madrid recently but this might be their chance to comeback in the league and take 2 points to lead over the La Liga Santander table leaders. Looking at the current form of Barcelona in 2021, they now remain the only side who is not yet tasted defeat in the year 2021 in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

Barcelona Game plan against Real Madrid

There is no doubt that that man in charge to stop Real’s Attack would be Marc Andre Ter Stegen. However, Barcelona has had problems in the defense. However, Ronald Araujo looks promising to start alongside Clement Lenglet. With the return of Gerard Pique, Manager Ronald Koeman could possibly shuffle the squad. Right-back Sergio Roberto is also returning from injury but his and the Catalan Defender Pique’s chances to be starting against Real Madrid looks slim.

FC Barcelona has a fast and skillful pair of fullbacks in the form of Jordi Alba who has been in excellent form. From the opposite end, it is the promising youngster Sergino Dest, who has made a fic spot in the FC Barcelona first team with consistent performance.

Magicians in the mid-field

Barcelona Midfield

FC Barcelona has a wonderful mid-field in the form of Sergio Busquets and Frankie De Jong. De Jong is one of the key players of FC Barcelona. Pedri who have stepped up for Barcelona a number of times this season would be in the starting 11. Watching him play alongside the great Lionel Messi is something a football fan would surely be looking forward to. Also, with an experienced player like Pjanic, Sergio Roberto at the bench there won’t be a problem for FC Barcelona in the centre of the field. The task for the midfielders would be to stop the counterattack and maintain a possession that would help the attacking front in scoring.

Options in Attack for FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona’s game since the beginning of 2021 has been incredible. The attackers appear to be in great form. Antione Griezmann with his French teammate Ousmane Dembele is most likely to start with him. However, as usual, the main man in the middle will be Lionel Messi. With another youngster Triancao and Braithwaite, there are many attacking options available for FC Barcelona.

Roadmap to Victory

Real Madrid’s stats look a bit scary as Zinedine Zidane’s side lack scoring but the side does not even allow the opponent to score at all. Despite the victory over Liverpool might boost the confidence in the team, but the absence of the two major centre backs would be felt. Barcelona will play as usual their possessional game and creating more attacking chances. Though to avoid Real Madrid from scoring is the threat of Counter Attack that visiting side has to face. Though with the missing of arguably the best centre backs pair in the world the FC Barcelona should be able to turn to their advantage.

Messi 10

Barcelona would not have to struggle for a draw but is most likely to push for the win from the promising mid-field. With no careless play which was seen earlier from the Catalan side, it is Barcelona who is favored to win the fixture. What may act more to FC Barcelona’s favor will the tight schedule of Real Madrid who has just played a match a few days back. Messi has been consistent for FC Barcelona as usual and with the in-form attacking French duo, this match is expected to have a treat for goals.

Conclusion

No matter the result of the El Classico the match would definitely be a joyful ride for the football fans. FC Barcelona should win this fixture as they are in good form and even the situation tends to be on their side. Though Barcelona should be careful about the silly mistakes and counterattacks. With Eden Hazard possibly returning from injury, it might be a game of many goals.

Here is the possible line up for FC Barcelona: –

Ter Stegen;

Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba;

Frankie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri

Messi (C), Antoine Griezmann and Dembele

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