The battle of battles. The most watched match on the
Blue Planet. We are only hours away from the clash
between the 2 bitter eternal rivals. The last time they
met in La Liga, they gave us a six-star football match
and we should wait nothing short of that this Saturday.
Despite all the details, all the predictions, all the talks
and tactics. But there is always one Ultimate Question :
Who will Emerge Victorious ?
Both teams enter this game in their best form, especially
on the offensive side. They are scoring for fun winning
a match after the other. Their excellent form reflects in
their star players. Both Ronaldo and Messi are on the
top of their game. One is outscoring most of Europe
clubs all by himself while the other is wreaking havoc in
his “False 10” position. This is a promising signal of yet
another top-class football match.
Barcelona doesn’t seem to change their tactical shape.
The 4-3-3 (or 4-3-1-2) is probably the formation they
are going to play with, simply because there is no
reason to change it. Mascherano and Busquets will
play in their usual positions. I can’t see Xavi starting
(Though I think he should ) the game but rather being
used as an effective sub when things get complicated.
We should not forget that Barcelona have to build Ivan
Rakitic big-games personality since Xavi is on the verge
of retiring. Real Madrid, on the other hand, won’t play in
their normal shape due to Bale’s injury. They will play in
4-4-2 instead. It worked magically against the Reds in
champions league but, Liverpool aren’t on level with Barca.
The problem is Madrid has no other choice to go with.
A lot of talk preceding the match was about
EL Clasico new star : Luis Suarez. Is he fit ?
Is He ready ? Will he play ?. To me, it is
insensible not to play the Uruguayan,
1- It is not his first match since the ban.
2- Players of his type can be decisive in
their poorest nights.
3- Looking at the player in his spot, 50%
Suarez is better than the current Pedro.
I expect to see the Golden Boot winner play
in the most advanced position in the squad.
Let’s simply balance the changes which the
Welshman absence will cause in the team.
What the team will win :
More defensive contribution from the
offensive line. Isco defensive performance
is better than any other offensive midfielder
in Real Madrid. Was it not for Bale’s injury,
Isco would have no chance to show that.
What the team will lose :
The perfect weapons. Bale has a high pace
and a good crossing ability that neither Isco
nor James posses. These are probably the
two most effective weapons to harm Enrique’s
side. (See : Barcelona vs PSG).
So, it’s hard to say that the Welshman loss is
devastating. It is even harder to ignore it.
Where Barca Have The Edge
The Catalans beat their rivals in an extremely
important factor in such games. While Los
Merengues have Ronaldo as their sole decisive
player, Barca have Messi, Neymar and the
likely to be in Luis Suarez. Real Madrid have
many high-quality players but other than the
Portuguese, none is expected to be a game
changer. Their other decisive player is injured.
This will make holding Barcelona and “paralyzing”
them much harder than Madrid who has one
main man to worry about. He is undoubtedly a
human beast but, he is still one.
Just to clarify, I don’t believe in the theory which
says that a couple of players can decide the
match totally on their own.In such matches,
There is no player with zero or even near-zero
importance. However, some players are surly
have more weight. That being said, Ronaldo,
Messi and Iniesta are the givens of this section.
You don’t expect anything less from the best 3
players of the generation.In his current form,
Neymar can also turn the match. While Real
are too busy marking the former two, he may
slip into the penalty area and then, you should
expect a ball hitting the back of the net. Modric
is Madrid Unsung hero. He is the brain of the
team and its 2nd most important player. In a
match where his team will not probably have
the most possession, they will need him to make
the most of their time on the ball. Busquets was
never less than a key player. His under-dilevery
against PSG proved catastrophic to Blaugrana.
Let that happen again against the better-quality
Madrid team, we may see the worse. Isco is the
last on the list simply for the significant roles he
has at both offensive and defensive areas.
The Unstoppable Force Meets
The Easily Removable Object
Both teams are surely more than happy with
their offensive product. At the same time, they
have to be more than worried about the other
end. Barcelona didn’t concede any goal in La
Liga so far (Record). However, they conceded
three against the only really challenging attack
they faced. Similarly, Real Madrid seem to still
have issues with crosses and set-pieces. Also,
nobody can be sure if Casillas sloppy mistakes,
like the one against ATM, is now from the past.
Hard Call, Very Hard Call
From everything said above, we can conclude
that this Clasico is the toughest to predict in a
very long time. In most of recent memory cases,
one could see that one team has an advantage,
no matter how small, over the other based on
form or circumstances. This one is different. It’s
both teams’ second test after failing in the first.
In other words, this is their first real chance to test
their apparent recovery. However, there are some
general clues. Everything about the two rivals this
season shouts : goals carnival. The teams’ quality
level and performances are very close meaning
the result is very likely to be a draw or a one goal
difference win. So here is my prediction :
Real Madrid 3-2 Barcelona
I’m anything but super confident about this prediction.
I think Ronaldo and Neymar will register their
names in the scoresheet. And, for some reason,
I feel that Kroos will score his 1st of the season.
What is your prediction of the match result ?
Who do you think will be the man of the match ?
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