On Saturday we will witness the first El Classico of the season. This is, of course, a fixture that needs no introduction, as the two biggest clubs in Spain will face off. Both teams have come into the game on the back of different results in the league and in the Champions League. Barcelona have 2 draws in their last 2 games, with a goal-less draw with Osasuna in Pamplona, followed by one in Milan. Real have finally hit their stride and are putting in confident performances now. A 2-0 victory last weekend was followed by a good win over Juventus in midweek.
Barcelona however, have been in electric through the campaign. The draw with Osasuna meant that they narrowly missed out on equalling a record that’s over 40 years old. The team has scored a fantastic 28 goals this season in their 9 matches, and generally been quite dominant in their victories. Martino has come in and changed the dynamic of the team a little. They still have dominated possession quite a bit, but now the focus seems to have shifted to speed in attack, rather than monopoly of possession. A man who has been key in bringing this about is Neymar. The Brazilian has scored only twice, but has created a lot for team-mates. His speed and dribbling have caused opposing defenders all kinds of problems, and it will be interesting to see his performance against a defence which will probably afford him a lot more space.
Real Madrid had a bit of a shaky start to the season. They picked up quite a few wins, but without ever really being convincing. The derby defeat to Atletico marked their lowest point this season. In recent weeks though, the team seems to have found some form, and are playing some excellent football. They’re in third place at the moment having both scored less, and conceded more than their rivals so far, but confidence is running high at the moment. Ronaldo has been in fine form this season, and has recieved good back up from the likes of Isco and Di Maria. Those two, along with Modric have stepped up this season and ensured that Ozil hasn’t been missed as much. The big story though, concerns Bale. Ancelotti has made noises in the press to indicate that the record signing will start, and if he does, he might enjoy playing against the high line of Barcelona. He has looked a bit uncomfortable on the right when he has played, but it’s something he will have to get used to, as the left is occupied by Ronaldo.
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
THE SEASON THUS FAR
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