Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Xavi predicts the result of El Clasico 2017
What’s the story?
Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has predicted the outcome of the pivotal El Clasico this weekend. In a conversation with La Liga’s official website, the Spaniard ignored the fact that Real Madrid are favourites on form, and predicted that Blaugrana to beat Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend. He said, "For me I hope Barcelona win, I am going to say 2-1. I want [Barcelona] obviously, but it will be a very tough game, both sides are very strong."
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Xavi spent 17 seasons with Barcelona, from 1998 to 2015, and has experienced the cauldron that is the Santiago Bernabeu multiple times. Having played so often in an El Clasico, Xavi is uniquely placed to predict the result, although he can be accused of yielding to his bias, given his prediction.
The heart of the matter
This edition of El Clasico is hugely important for Barcelona. Having only recently been dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by Juventus, Barcelona will turn their sights on the La Liga title. However, Barcelona trail Real Madrid by three points, with their rivals also having a game in hand.
It’s a must win for Barcelona, and Xavi also went on to say, “The LaLiga trophy is at stake, this match will decide it.” He went on to note that Neymar would be a big miss and outlined the game-changers for this game, saying “In a match like El Clasico, goalscorers are needed. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will be key for us, whilst Madrid will be counting on Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to score their goals.”
El Clasico is all set to be a blockbuster fixture, especially now that it is basically a last chance saloon for Barcelona when it comes to the Liga title. Barcelona have the capability to ensure that Xavi’s prediction comes to pass, and with this being Luis Enrique’s last ever Clasico, his team will be highly motivated to get one over Madrid and reignite their title chase.
If there is one thing you can say about Xavi, is that he is staunchly loyal. It is no surprise that the Barcelona legend predicted that his former side would win, even though the rest of the world considers Real Madrid favourites for this tie. There is reason to listen to Xavi though – in the first El Clasico this season, Madrid were in great form going into the game, but were absolutely dominated by Barcelona, stealing a draw in injury time with a last-gasp Sergio Ramos goal. It is conceivable that this scenario could play out again.