El Clasico- Three key battles
Barcelona facing Real Madrid is one of the most widely watched matches in club football and it goes without saying that ' El Clasico ' is a game that the football world looks forward to every season. Over the years, we had all the recipes of an entertaining tale- goals, late dramas, and heated battles and we can surely hope that there will be sparks flying this time around.
Barcelona will once again host Real Madrid at Camp Nou tonight. Although this 'El Clasico' would miss one of the biggest rivalries of all time- Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi after a decade, both the teams have terrific players to change the odds for their teams. Lionel Messi, the Barcelona captain, will miss the tie due to an injury whereas the greatest goalscorer in Real Madrid history joined Juventus this summer.
No team has beaten Real Madrid more than Barcelona and similarly, Barcelona suffered most defeats against Real Madrid in La Liga. El Clasico is a historically renowned rivalry whose impact goes beyond football and let us quickly evaluate three key battles which will change the tie tonight.
#1. Barcelona midfield vs Real Madrid midfield :
In these previous years, these matches were dominated by the team which won the domination in midfield. Both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have one of the best midfield setups in the world and both the teams know the importance of dominating the match lies on how well their midfielders perform.
El Clasico without both Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would see almost 50% fewer goals as statistically proven. Without them, the midfield battle will be the most pivotal reason to how well both the teams perform against each other.
FIFA Best player of the year, Luka Modric, would once again take charge of the Real Madrid midfield along with his eternal partner-in-crime, Toni Kroos. They will look to find spaces and holes in the Barcelona set up to exploit with their passing and vision. Casemiro is likely to sit deep to prevent any mistakes at the back and Isco, if he plays, can drop deep to break down defensive barriers.
Barcelona midfield will be without Andres Iniesta but in Arthur Melo, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic, they have players who can change the tie once they start to pull the strings. It is not sure whether Coutinho will be deployed but he will surely be another key piece in winning the midfield battle.
Both the coaches are not defensive minded and would like to create as many chances as possible for their forwards. They know that El Clasico is decided by important phases which depends on which team can show composure and take control. And there's no doubt that these midfielders will play the most vital role in the match.