On Sunday night two of the world’s best club football teams meet at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, as arch-rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona go head-to-head in one of the most watched games of the European season, the Clasico.
The big game between the two La Liga giants is usually significant when it comes to deciding the destination of the Spanish title, none more so than the latest edition.
Advantage Real Madrid in title race
It is certainly advantage Real Madrid in the race for the Spanish title. Zinedine Zidane’s team are ahead of Barcelona by three points with a game in hand. Los Blancos know that a win in this clash would virtually guarantee that the men from Madrid would claim the title for the first time in five years.
In truth, love them or loathe them Real Madrid have been highly consistent in recent months. A record of 11 wins in their last 14 La Liga outings shows just how consistent Los Blancos have been in recent months.
One impressive feature of Zidane’s team has been their never-say-die attitude. The number of times that Real have rescued points in the dying minutes of games in recent months is highly impressive. Those rescued points have kept Real Madrid ahead of their Catalan rivals.
Barcelona’s poor defeats have cost them dearly
Barcelona’s weaknesses have been ruthlessly exposed this season by the likes of PSG and Juventus in the Champions League. However, Luis Enrique’s side have also suffered poor defeats in La Liga against Alaves, Celta Vigo, Deportivo and Malaga.
Four defeats may not seem to be that many. However, due to Real’s high level of consistency in recent months, those defeats could cost them dearly at the end of the season.
Barcelona have looked a shadow of the team that won La Liga last season the season. The Catalan giants have suffered from a lack of goals in recent games, having failed to score in three of their last four competitive games.
The recent lack of goals was out of character for a side containing Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, who have previously scored a ridiculous amount of goals in recent seasons. They have still been prolific in La Liga, but Italian champions Juventus kept two clean sheets against the Blaugrana.
The front three are top players. However, their back-up players are no longer good enough. For the first time in a long time, Barcelona are a team that seem to be lacking in confidence. With Real Madrid in such good form the last thing that Barcelona need is a lack of belief.
Real Madrid have to be favourites
Real Madrid heads into this clash 21 games unbeaten in La Liga at the Bernabeu Stadium. Zidane’s team do not need to record a win in this clash. Even a draw would be enough to keep themselves in the driving seat in the title race.
The home side are favourites for victory in this clash at odds of 11/10. Even the most fervent Barcelona fan would not favour their team in the capital on Sunday night.
Everything seems to favour the home side in this clash, form and confidence being the main two factors that could have a major effect on this game. There are a few things that Barcelona fans can cling to heading into this game.
One of those is the fact that the Catalan giants have won on two of their last three visits to the Bernabeu. The visitors also have players like Lionel Messi and Neymar who shine on the big occasions, more often than not anyway.
It is hard to see a Barcelona win in this game. Without an away win then Real Madrid will win this season’s Spanish title. Zinedine Zidane’s side winning the title would just be confirmation that Barcelona need to make major changes in the summer.
Will Real Madrid win El Clasico?
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