The El Clasico is arguably the biggest game in domestic football which sees two of the biggest football clubs in the world go head to head with cultures where only winning is good enough. Managing either club is one of the few managerial jobs where finishing second can be viewed as a catastrophic failure due to the footballing rivalry between these two clubs. The nature of this rivalry has changed from a global perspective considering the drastic amount of interest in the Premier League, but even with this, 22 quality players will be gracing the pitch, with talents like Pedri, Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham being among the key players to look out for.
The state of the league table makes this game extra significant this weekend. Madrid and Barcelona both have great records, with Madrid winning eight of their first ten in the league while Barcelona is one point behind their rivals and, very surprisingly, Girona. Despite their near-faultless records, both teams have lived on the edge this season, relying on some epic comebacks and last-minute goals.
Having said that, it is quite clear who is the toast of La Liga at the moment. Jude Bellingham has made the move and is scoring goals as if he was brought in as an elite striker. Eight goals in eight games in the league and a few in the Champions League also has seen him take the league by storm. Pedri and Gavi are both very talented homegrown products of Barcelona; before Jude came along, they were considered the young darlings of the division. Undoubtedly, they will want to stop this unstoppable train that the young Englishmen is on now and get a few more people talking about them again.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Tips
Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Junior have both expressed their desire to become club legends at Real Madrid, and their form this season has been nothing short of outstanding. It is very possible that they might link up to make their mark on the game, with Bellingham setting up Vinicius for a goal or vice versa. With Barcelona having to put a lot of attention into ensuring these two are kept quiet, this could free up the entire team, which is precisely why we are predicting Real Madrid to score at least a couple of goals.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Match Analysis
Like Real Madrid, Barcelona have a nice blend of experience and youth and will have to rely on them to produce moments of magic in the game. Since both teams are not playing super cohesive football now despite their impressive records, this game will likely come down to who can produce the best moments of magic. Lewandoski is certainly capable of being the difference maker. Joao Felix has had an impressive start in Barca colors and this would be a great game to really ensure you have won the support of your new fans.
For Madrid, as already mentioned, Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham have been excellent and will most likely be required to shine again if they want to maintain their position at the top of the table.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Predictions
In contests of this magnitude, attempting to predict a result is a nearly impossible task. Unlike in other games where recent form, injuries and tactical considerations play a role in making a prediction, the stakes here far exceed the mere three points. Throughout the history of this competition, we have seen the seemingly “weaker” team emerge victorious countless times in the face of overwhelming odds.
Take, for example, the first El Clasico of the previous season, which saw Real beat Barca 3-1, yet it was Barcelona who ultimately clinched the league title. Similarly, in the 2021-2022 season, Barcelona left the Bernabeu with a 4-0 win despite Real Madrid eventually winning both the Champions League and La Liga that season.
Players feel the weight of this game, with millions of fans cheering on from both ends of the pitch, making it very hard to predict the final outcome. If we were to make a prediction trying to be as rational as possible, a 1-1 draw is on the cards. Considering the injuries to key players and the relatively decent form of both teams, it is probable that they will cancel each other out and share a point each.
Barcelona Team News
Barcelona are gearing up for their highly anticipated first classico this season, which could set the tone for the rest of their season. Joao Felix will be especially determined to break his pattern of struggles against Real Madrid even though he was rumored to have picked up a knock recently. Joao Felix has stated that the knock was only minor and that he is already preparing for the Clasico, which will be a huge positive for the Catalans, considering injuries to other key players.
Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, and Sergi Roberto could all miss Saturday’s crucial game as they were absent in Bareclona’s previous match. This could give an opportunity to youngsters like Marc Guiu, who scored on his La Liga debut, to step up, but considering the stakes, it is probable that such players will only make a substitute appearance. On a positive note, former Manchester City players Joao Cancelo and Ilkay Gundogan are both expected to feature, along with Ferran Torres, who have all been in decent form this season.
Real Madrid Team News
Real Madrid are also facing significant absentees like their biggest rivals, heading into this crucial fixture. Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, and Arda Guler are all sidelined with injuries for quite some time now and as fatigue kicks in with the Champions League games, they will undoubtedly be missed. Dani Ceballos, who recently signed a new contract, also remains unavailable with a muscular issue.
Chelsea’s loanee Kepa Arrizabalaga, is set to replace the injured Courtois and has publicly declared his desire to stay, making this El Clasico a pivotal moment to prove his worth to the team. David Alaba has also recovered just in time which is another huge boost to Real Madrid considering Militao’s absence. Real Madrid also does not have any players on suspension, which is another relief in their hopes of getting an away win in the El Classico.