A real buzz is expected in and around Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon as it’s all set for the new El Clasico between fierce rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid in the 10th round of La Liga. This derby will be quite different to ones we’ve been used to witness over the past years.
It will be the first derby without Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Whilst the Portuguese superstar left Madrid this summer, Messi suffered an awkward arm injury last weekend against Sevilla and will skip the clash with bitter rivals.
Both teams were very much dependent on these two likes in previous derbies and it will be very interesting to see which of them will adjust better here on the occasion.
The hosts will definitely come into the affair in higher spirits following back-to-back wins over Sevilla and Inter Milan. Ernesto Valverde was heavily criticized by Barcelona’s fans throughout the entire season, but he did a phenomenal job against Inter who practically did nothing to harm Blaugrana on Wednesday evening in their Champions League tie at Camp Nou. Can the defending champions repeat such a performance here against Madrid?
The good news for Julen Lopetegui is the fact he will have all players but Daniel Carvajal available here. The former Spanish national team boss had plenty of issues with injured players so far in the season, but Bale, Marcelo, Isco and Kroos should all be ready to make the starting line-up for Madrid here.
Real were on a three-loss run before the mid-week 2-1 win over Viktoria Plzen. Their defensive line was very vulnerable against the Czechs who could have scored more than one goal on Tuesday night at Santiago Bernabeu.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Head-to-head
It’s Barcelona who were the more successful side in the most recent head to head history.
They won 29, drew 18 and lost 20 of last 67 meetings with Los Blancos.
Five of last six El Clasicos saw three or more goals scored.
The streak includes the previous one, played in May this year at Camp Nou (2-2 draw).
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Semedo; Busquets, Arthur, Rakitic; Coutinho, Suarez, Rafinha
Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Courtois; Marcelo, Varane, Ramos, Odriozola; Casemiro, Kroos, Ceballos; Isco; Benzema, Bale