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5 Reasons why Barcelona will beat Real Madrid | LaLiga 2020/21

Lionel Messi celebrates against Real Madrid
Lionel Messi celebrates against Real Madrid
Sai Teja
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Modified 23 Oct 2020, 17:50 IST
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It's the clash of the Spanish titans on Saturday as Barcelona prepare to host LaLiga Santander champions Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.

Both the Blaugrana and the Blancos have had indifferent starts to the campaign and fell to their first defeats of the season on the same day — Barcelona lost away to Getafe, while Real Madrid were beaten at home by newly-promoted Cadiz.

While both sides head into the fixture on the back of disappointing league results, El Clasico holds the tag of being arguably the most anticipated match-up in European football and, perhaps, even beyond.

For 90 minutes, the two historic rivals will not only compete for three points in the context of the title race, but also for bragging rights for their dominance in Spain.

That being said, here, we take a look at five reasons that could tip the scales in Barcelona's favour in their first clash of the season with Real Madrid.


#5 Barcelona's new system

Ronald Koeman has implemented a different system at the Nou Camp
Ronald Koeman has implemented a different system at the Nou Camp

Since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, Barcelona have seen three different managers at the helm. It was two-time title-winning boss Ernesto Valverde who began the campaign in charge, and was replaced with former Real Betis boss Quique Setien after a run of poor results. Setien was fired after Barcelona's historic 8-2 bashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League, and was replaced by Ronald Koeman.

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With so many managers in charge, there has been a clash of multiple philosophies in a short span of time. Barcelona went from Ernesto Valverde's preferred 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 (with a number ten) set-ups to utilising the traditional 4-3-3 under Setien, and now, new manager Koeman has primarily opted for a 4-2-3-1.

The early signs of this new set-up have been positive, albeit it still is evident that the players need more time to settle into it. The free-flowing front four of Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, and Antoine Griezmann is a breath of fresh air in comparison to that of the rigid systems of the past. There's a significant amount of creativity and fluidity, and since Luis Suarez's departure, there is more mobility as well. This will undoubtedly enable them to break teams down with greater ease.

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Before the Getafe loss, they scored eight league goals in their first three league games, which is a testament to this system's promising early signs. In retrospect, the double pivot also offers far greater protection to their backline, which was another issue they faced previously.


#4 Fati & Coutinho's form

Koeman has given Coutinho a new lease of life
Koeman has given Coutinho a new lease of life

Building further on the previous point, Barcelona stars Ansu Fati, and Philippe Coutinho have played a massive role in this new-look Blaugrana side under Koeman. Fati continues to break records and recently became the youngest-ever player to win LaLiga's Player of the Month honour at just 17 years of age.

He has already racked up three goals in his three league starts this term. Even apart from his goalscoring, the teenager looks a frightening prospect to play against. Fati has added a new dimension to Barcelona's attack, with his incredible directness and pace on the flanks.

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While many thought that Coutinho's dazzling cameo during Barcelona's 8-2 drubbing against Bayern Munich all but ended his career in Catalunya, Koeman has found a beneficial role for him in his plans. The Brazilian appears to have turned his career around and has been integrated as the central attacking midfielder in Barcelona's front four, and has been in sublime touch this year having already recorded a goal and a pair of assists.

The 28-year-old, who remains Barcelona's most expensive player to date, has been a key reason for their start under Koeman. Both Fati and Coutinho will look to further endear themselves even further to the Blaugrana faithful with a striking display in the Clasico.


Alsor read: 5 Best players signed by new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman

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Published 23 Oct 2020, 16:52 IST
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