Real Madrid welcome Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabeu today for the first El Clasico this season.
Both teams have had their good and bad times this season. Barcelona have been steady since Lionel Messi’s injury against Las Palmas two months go while Madrid have been solid but unspectacular.
Both teams have injury problems coming into this clash that that should not stop fans from gluing to their screen’s to watch the biggest match of the weekend along with Juventus vs Ac Milan and Man City vs Liverpool.
Both teams have fitness issues ahead of the clash. Madrid will hope Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos and Benzema will be fully fit while Barca have worries over Iniesta, Rakitic and Messi.
Despite the hitches the match promises to be a cracker and here are the reasons……
The Argentine was expected to be out for eight weeks but returned in seven and used the last week to do full training. He is not fully fit but as we all know a half-fit Messi is a blessing to any team in the world.
His only defeat to date is that 3 – 2 defeat to Sevilla before the international break. Many are slow to note that some of his best players have either been injured but off form. Ronaldo has continued to score and has 13 goals in fourteen games this season but five of those came in just one game against Espanyol.
He has missed Sergio Ramos (against Sevilla), James Rodriguez, Benzema, Gareth Bale, Danilo and Pepe at various times this season. Despite all the trouble, results have been good. The two ‘three matches’ Madrid have played this season have seen different fourtunes.
Drew 1 -1 against Atletico Madrid, beat PSG 1 – 0 over two legs in the Champions league and lost 3 – 2 to Sevilla. Can Benitez see fortune against Barcelona? Saturday’s game awaits.
Ramos is one of the best defenders in the world alongside Thiago Silva, Gerard Pique and Diego Godin but his absence will be keenly felt.
Madrid will hope their best defender is back to lead the ‘backline’ or could be overwhelmed by an attack that could line up as Neymar – Suarez – Messi.
If that report is to be believed, then we could have a strange match on our hands. It could lead to a series of comments, fireworks and other issues being raised. Will the match be fixed, will the referee favour Madrid?
Madrid played dirty and sometimes got the results but Barcelona usually had the upper hand with their possession game and a certian Lionel Messi who was always settling the scores.
Here are other Fixtures:
Saturday: Real Sociedad Vs Sevilla-6pm, Real Madrid Vs Barcelona – 5:15pm and Espanyol Vs Malaga – 7:30pm.
Sunday: Valencia Vs Las Palmas – 9am, Deportivo La Coruna Vs Celta Vigo – 9:05am, Sporting Gijon Vs Levante 11 am, Villarreal Vs Eibar – 3pm, Granada Vs Athletic Bilbao – 5:15pm and Real Betis Vs Atletico Madrid – 5:30pm.
Monday: Getafe Vs Rayo Vallecano – 7:30pm