The history of El Clasico has witnessed several mettlesome clashes over the years. The rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona on the field has taken place for a total of 237 competitive matches in which Madrid leads the head to head results with 95 wins to Barcelona’s 92.
Though in the age of the millennial, the supporters have been very familiar with watching the mouthwatering competition between the Argentine magician Lionel Messi in Blaugrana colours and the Portuguese stalwart Cristiano Ronaldo in the white shirt. It is a massive disappointment to accept the fact that after Ronaldo’s move to Juventus and Messi’s severe injury which got his arm fractured and ruled him out for three weeks, this is going to be the first time in many years that we won’t be seeing the magical touches and amusing tricks, shots and passes from the two legends of the game.
Ernesto Valverde’s side had a saunter start to the season but went on to the top of the table after their last triumph against Sevilla last weekend. On the other hand, the Portuguese striker’s summer move to Juventus has had an immense effect on the Los Blancos as they stroll at seventh position with just four wins so far to their name. Barcelona will look forward to taking full advantage of this situation though they too have problems at their camp as they are required to find a proper replacement for their talisman Lionel Messi.
The teams are shaping up for their upcoming biggest domestic clash in which the predicted squads for Barcelona must consist Ter Stegen patrolling at the bar supported by Alba, Lenglet, Pique and Roberto as the defenders. The signing of Arthur from Gremio has provided Valverde with more options on the midfield, which gives high chances for the Brazilian to start after he had an impressing game against Inter. Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitić should line up with the young Brazilian in the midfield. Ousmane Dembele is expected to start in place of Lionel Messi supported by Phillipe Coutinho operating from the right wing and Luis Suarez as the centre forward.
Julen Loptegui has been facing increased pressure after a sloppy start to his reign at the Bernabeu. It is believed that the 52-year-old gaffer needs to clinch a victory this weekend or it could force president Florentino Perez to swing the axe and signal an end for the Spaniard. The team looks forward to having Courtois as the shot-stopper. The defence seems doubtful as Dani Carvajal is set to miss the clash while Marcelo’s presence seems doubtful after walking out of the Champions League win in midweek with an ankle problem. Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane shall command from the central defence supported by Nacho in the absence of the Brazilian at the left back and Odriozola at the right back. The midfield seems to be stout having Casemiro-Kroos-Modric as the usual midfield trio who are fit and ready to start. Meanwhile, big things are expected from Gareth Bale up front after the departure of their star winger to Juventus. The Welsh winger is supposed to join with Isco to assist Benzema hitting the net.