Barca will almost certainly defend La Liga title, and despite the appearance in the Champions League this week, a big rival certainly will not get a discount in SuperClásico.
Of course, rivalry is huge and a match in which Barcelona and Real Madrid will be playing “friendly” doesn’t exist, so neither this one will, although Barcelona enjoys having a large ten point lead in the first place in relation to the third-placed team Real Madrid.
Both teams are still present in the Champions League competition and it will not be a surprise if in the same these two sides soon meet later.
Barcelona has been in a long series of victories, but in the last round Enrique’s men drew with Villarreal, while the Los Blancos are now in a series of five wins.
In the first part of this season Barcelona smashed Real Madrid 4-0.
Eight rounds before the end of the season Barcelona are on the verge of winning their new league titles and victory against their biggest rival this Saturday, would practically seal a deal.
Barcelona after “one hundred years” enrolled one draw, but even with the same the Catalans additionally strengthened the first position given that the second placed team, Atletico Madrid lost 2-1 to Sporting Gijon in last round. Defeat to Real Madrid will not be a disaster for the Catalans, but the same could keep shake morally especially after dropping a 2-0 lead in last round against Villarreal and finishing the game with a 2-2 draw. Dani Alves and Andreas Iniesta have missed the last game, but they will be ready for El Clasico game. Still, Enrique is having a problem with the left flank, considering that Alba, Mathieu and Adriano have injury problems. It remains to be seen whether Enrique will opt to use Vermaelen on the left side.
While Catalans attacking trio MSN is having a dream season, additional problem for Enrique could be a fatique of the same players, considering they traveled along distance after playing in South America qualifying matches for World Cup 2018.
Luis Enrique Martinez today does not intend to change anything in the game of his team:
“We will not change our style of play. We will try as much as possible to keep the ball and not allow Madrid to play their game.”
“We hope that it will be a great show and that the best team wins. There is nothing that gets a Barcelona fan hotter than beating Madrid. And that also goes for a Barcelona player. And it will be the same the other way around,” Luis Enrique said at a press conference.”
“Real Madrid will no longer be able to win La Liga if we beat them. We would like to land the knockout blow.”
The Los Blancos have stopped dreaming about La Liga title this season and the focus of Cristiano Ronaldo and company will be the Champions league competition as the same can salvage a bad season for Real Madrid. Ten points gap behind the league toppers Barca, can only reduce the pressure ahead of the El Clasico clash this Saturday. If someone is able to compete with Barcelona on their own ground, then definitely that’s Real Madrid, who certainly is not going to defend, because there is no single cause for such approach.
On the contrary, they a heavy 4-0 defeat in Madrid could only raise a desire to strike one back vs Barca. Yes, attacking approach could cause a new disaster, but worse than a 4-0 defeat at Bernabeu probably can not happen again.
Pepe and Ramos are returning to first team, after serving their suspensions, while Casemiro could be ready. Varane is definitely out. Central defender Ramos had some injury problems, but he should be ready, which means that the coach Zidane at he’s disposal will have almost the strongest possible lineup.
Zinedine Zidane hasn’t led the team in the first El Clasico this season, but on the eve of his first SuperClásico as coach, Frenchman is optimistic:
“We came to Barcelona to win the game, and I will not run away from it. We had problems with the absence of players during the break, but the same is the case with Barcelona, and it will not play a decisive role.”
“The players know perfectly well what happened [in the previous Clasico],” the Frenchman told his pre-match news conference. “Revenge? No, it’s just a game we want to win.
“We’re on a good run, playing well lately. We keep doing our work. I want to see my team playing as they have been doing lately.
“I will sleep the same as always tonight. I will enjoy tomorrow – my first Barca-Madrid match as a coach. I want to enjoy it.
Barcelona: Bravo, D. Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Rakitić, Iniesta, Messi, L. Suarez, Neymar
Out: Adriano, Alba (?), Sandro
Real Madrid: Navas, Danilo, S. Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modrić, Kroos, Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale
Out: Mayoral, Varane