On Tuesday night, millions of people worldwide will have their eyes glued to their TV’s as El Clásico will take place at Camp Nou.
It is certain to be a thrilling game as a place in the Copa Del Rey final hangs in the balance, following a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu. In the first leg, the sides battled out a draw with nothing to separate the teams. Madrid defender Rafael Varane, who is just 19 years of age, was one of the stand out stars of the night, and provided Madrid with a fearless defensive display to keep the big guns of Barcelona quiet for most of the night. Since this tie, Madrid and Barca have both managed 2 wins, a draw, and a loss. In the UEFA Champions League, Madrid held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw in the 1st leg, whilst Barcelona have a huge mountain to climb as they lost 2-0 to AC Milan at the San Siro.
With Barcelona 15 points clear of rivals Real Madrid, surely José Mourinho’s team can no longer retain their league title. Therefore, Madrid have set their attentions to the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League. Mourinho knows he must win a trophy this season, or he will be under serious pressure in his managerial position, although rumors suggest he will leave the club anyways at the season’s end. Madrid will fancy their chances as they are unbeaten in their last 4 games against Barcelona, earning 3 draws and a win. However, Barcelona will also fancy their chances as they are flying form domestically this year, 12 points clear at the top of La Liga, and in the semi-final of the Copa Del Rey.
Things To Note
- Real Madrid have the 2nd best away defensive record, only conceding 13 goals away from home this season.
- They have a very solid defence, with the likes of Ramos and Varane at their disposal.
- However, even with the quality Madrid have going forward, they still lack the amount goals that matches Barcelona. They have scored 20 less goals this season than Barcelona in La Liga, which has let them down this season.
- Real Madrid have lost 5 games away from home this season in La Liga.
Clearly Real Madrid’s most influential player this season, netting 37 goals in total in the 2012-2013 season (4 of which were scored in the Copa Del Rey). Every time Cristiano Ronaldo steps on the pitch, he poses a threat to any opposition he comes up against. He possesses a good record against Barcelona in recent times, scoring 4 goals against the Catalan Giants this season (La Liga-2, Super Cup-2). Ronaldo owns many strengths such as pace, power, and aerial ability. He will be looking to use these abilities against Barcelona, and guide his side to Copa Del Rey success.
In recent weeks, Özil has been a stand out performer for Real Madrid. He impressed against Manchester United in the Champions League, looking very energetic and creating many chances for Madrid. In La Liga this season, he has scored 4 goals and assisted 7 goals. He seems to link up well with Madrid’s hit-man Cristiano Ronaldo. He is certain to start for Madrid on Tuesday, as he has played a key role in their success this season.
Things To Note
- Barcelona are in great form this season, only losing 1 game domestically.
- They are unbeaten in Nou Camp this season.
- They lost their previous Champions League game 2-0 against AC Milan.
- They have scored 80 goals in La Liga already this season (with Lionel Messi scoring just under half of those goals ).
He doesn’t take much describing really; he has been classed as ‘The greatest ever’ several times by many pundits. Week in week out, he performs for Barcelona and just continues to score and score. In 2012, he scored a record-breaking 91 goals in a calendar year. It really was breath-taking to see a player of his quality continue to score as often as he did. There is no doubt that he will be a key part of Barcelona’s play on Tuesday, as he links up well with Xavi and Iniesta who are the core of Barcelona’s offense. The clash of Ronaldo vs Messi will be a one to watch, as they both strive off each other’s success, but who will win this battle?
Andrés Iniesta will play a very active role on Tuesday evening. He has assisted 13 goals for Barcelona this season and has scored 2 goals. Iniesta has an extraordinary pass success rate this season (89%) which is way above the average La Liga player. He has great composure on the ball and can always find a pass. He has great vision and can read the game like no other. When Lionel Messi broke the goal record last year, Xavi and Iniesta assisted the majority of goals he scored. Messi links up well with Iniesta and understands the way in which he plays.
El Clásico is certain to entertain, with 2 world class teams facing each other aiming to set the world alight and guide their team to the Copa Del Rey Final. With the game hanging on a knife edge with the score (1-1) after the first leg, both teams will be looking to win the game; this will guarantee goals. Both teams own world class players with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mesut Özil, and Andrés Iniesta. You are certainly in for a treat and this match-up is a MUST watch for all football fans.
Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
Written by FirstFastFooty