El Clasico: Barcelona vs Real Madrid | Match Preview, Predictions, Venue & Where to Watch Details | LaLiga 2018-19
Barcelona and Real Madrid lock horns for the first Clasico of the 2018-19 season in what would be an edge-of-the-seat thriller, considering both the title race and the teams' present situations, tactics and players.
While Barcelona are one point clear at the top of the table, Madrid, who have constantly been hit and miss, are down at 8th place, four points adrift of the champions. While the league leaders have scored in each of their last 21 league matches against the Merengues, they have also not been able to claim three points in any of the previous three meetings between these two sides at the Nou Camp.
A lot of mathematical mismatches and tactical game plans are to be unfolded, but here's all you need to know ahead of the game.
Barcelona v Real Madrid: KickOff Information
Date: 28 October
Kickoff: 17:15 (local time), 20:45 (IST)
Venue: Camp Nou
Live stream: Live on LaLiga's Facebook Page
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Team News
Blaugrana will be without the services of their star man Lionel Messi. center-backs Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen are long-term casualties as well, which means summer signing Clement Lenglet is sure to start as a center-half.
Ousmane Dembele, who spent the evening against Inter Milan as an unused substitute, is likely to remain on the bench.
Madrid are sweating over the fitness of left-back Marcelo. However, he is most likely to see off the knock sustained during the 2-1 win over Czech Republic side Plzen. Elsewhere, Daniel Carvajal's absence means Nacho will play at right back.
Vinicius Junior is suspended after having picked up a red card in Real Madrid Castilla's previous outing.
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Probable Line-ups
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur; Rafinha, Coutinho, Suárez
Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Courtois; Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Isco; Bale, Benzema
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Form Guide
Real Madrid: W-L-L-L-D
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Head-To-Head (La Liga only)
Barcelona wins: 70
Real Madrid wins: 72
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Key Players
Arthur Melo's guile, passing abilities and vision are the talk of the town at the moment. Against Valencia, he completed a staggering 135 passes out of 142 attempted. His presence and link-up play in midfield with Sergio Busquets will allow the likes of Rafinha and Coutinho to play further up the field.
There is nothing Luka Modric cannot do on the football pitch. The onus will be on the Croatia skipper to rack up passes, create chances and take aim at goal whenever required. Should he establish control and dictate play, Los Blancos will undoubtedly have the most realistic chance of taking away all three points.
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Prediction
Real Madrid look off the pace a little bit and we expect them to concede a couple of goals early on. They might have to give it all to claw their way back, but the Galacticos are going to struggle to handle the hosts' possession-based football.
They will rely on their pace and dynamism to score a goal, but Lopetegui's troops will fail to close down the four-point gap between them and their arch-rivals.
Predicted score: Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid