As far as Footballing rivalries go, the El Clásico is right out of the top drawer.
Quite often dubbed as the clash of the world’s very best, it’s the culmination of passionate Football, driven by the urge to get the better of each other and made what it is by those who have lived it, felt it and bossed it.
This is the greatest of great Footballing spectacles – no wonder some players reach an orgasm by the mere mentioning of FC Barcelona Vs Real Madrid.
The favourites by some distance, Barcelona look set for a third straight victory over Real Madrid.
The MSN isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, Iniesta and partners seem at the peak of their powers, and the defence, well they’ve hardly been put to test, but it could be a different case this time around as we’ll find it out pretty soon after the kick-off.
Regardless, the Catalans have more weaknesses to exploit than strengths to worry about.
While the Los Blancos’ forward-line takes some beating, the defence and the defensive set-up is something to worry about, in which case, Luis Enrique’s side can drive right through the heart of the mid-field rather than having to use more width. Marcelo and Dani Carvajal are all about pushing forward, Casemiro’s inexperienced and definitely not an option, while a Sergio Ramos-less central defence is a potential disaster for Real Madrid (Pepe and Nacho Fernandez).
What else would Barcelona want? The sight of the full-backs beginning on the front foot leaving an already weakened and attack-minded back-line exposed, is where Barcelona will smell blood.
How Real Madrid fare in the El Clásico would largely be decided by how they defend, not by how they attack. Even with Sergio Ramos in the team, they were mauled at the Santiago Bernabeu as Andres Iniesta stitched one after the other pass together making hosts’ defence look helplessly ordinary.
It could be even tougher this time with Ramos injured. A lot will depend on Casemiro, the only truly defensive-minded player in the XI that Zinedine Zidane is likely to go with. If he has a bad day, who knows what might be the scoreline this time.
Simply put, without their defensive mid-fielder going well – the one who breaks down the opposition’s attack, regains possession and gets the team going forward – the BBC might be rendered ineffective. Mark those words.
The better option for Zidane’s men, rather than going “attack, attack, attack” might be better off defending as a unit, assuming defensive responsibilities, maintaining cohesion and staying within the positions as much as possible to be able to utilise their strength to the full which is the attack that’s as fatal to defences as any, especially with two gifted mid-fielders in Toni Kroos and Luka Modric behind them. “Real Madrid will only win this game if they do well, what they loathe to do the most -defend.”