It’s the El Clasico weekend and once again Real Madrid’s clash with Barcelona is of great importance for La Liga’s title race.
Los Blancos enjoyed a fantastic midweek when they dismantled Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory, and came into this game knowing that a victory could make them even on points with the top team Atletico.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have had a few days to put their feet up – due to their Champions League exit from PSG in March – and they were just one point behind Diego Simeone’s side after a last gasp Ousmane Dembele scored from Real Valladolid.
Unfortunately, no fans will take part in the biggest game in club football, but it should still be a fantastic spectacle. Here is a 90 min preview of the game.
– Real Madrid CF (@realmadrid) April 7, 2021
When is the match? Saturday 10 AprilWhat time is the kick-off? 20:00 GMTWhere is it played? Alfredo Di Stefano StadiumTV channel: La Liga TV (UK)Judge: Mateu Lahoz WHERE: Soto Grado
Zinedine Zidane was hit by the news that Raphael Varane had tested positive for COVID-19 on the morning of the Liverpool game, which means that the French defender will miss El Clasico. Sergio Ramos is also ruled out with a calf injury.
Right-back Dani Carvajal is also injured but Eden Hazard is training again and can return to the bench. Madrid could play with the same team as they did against Liverpool in the middle of the week, simply because they lack alternatives.
Dembele scored a huge goal last time to earn Barcelona 3 points | PAU BARRENA / Getty Images
The Catalan giants are likely to be without their own star defender, Gerard Pique, who is still suffering from a knee injury. This means that Oscar Mingueza should continue in his 3-4-3 system, which has given them plenty of success and balance in recent weeks.
Lionel Messi will continue in the attack after his line of either scoring goals or assisting in every league match in 2021 ended against Valladolid, and he is likely to work with Antoine Griezmann, who has just welcomed a third child to be born on April 8 . Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati are still absent for a long time.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Lenglet, De Jong; Dest, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Dembele, Messi, Griezmann
Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool (06/04)Real Madrid 2-0 Eibar (03/04) Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid (20/03)Real Madrid 3-1 Atalanta (16/03)Real Madrid 2-1 Elche (13/03)
Madrid deserved a huge victory in Liverpool under Angel Martinez / Getty Images
Barcelona 1-0 Valladolid (05/04) Real Sociedad 1-6 Barcelona (21/03)Barcelona 4-1 SD Huesca (15/03) Paris SG 1-1 Barcelona (10/03) Osasuna 0-2 Barcelona (06/03)
The world will see again when both teams make sure to get to Atletico at the top of the table and continue one of the most captivating title races in several years.
Both teams are expected to attack, given the weakness of each defense, and it will be interesting to see if Ronald Koeman’s 3-4-3 system continues to get the best out of his top three.
DAGENS G OF️AL? #ElClasico! ??? Leo #Messi pic.twitter.com/ltzh3ggzju
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 9, 2021
Madrid have lost just two Clasico under Zinedine Zidane and the 3-1 victory at Camp Nou earlier this season will be on the minds of both teams.
In the end, three points is the only acceptable result for both sides – which can inevitably lead to a draw, hopefully of the entertaining kind.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-2 Barcelona