FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 3 Talking Points ahead of El Clasico

Barca vs Real Madrid

Barcelona are ready to take on Real Madrid for the 4th time in this season, with a potential title decider awaiting the eternal rivals on Sunday night. After a period filled with upsets and tribulations, when they had to miss several key players, Xavi’s team is back at Camp Nou with the hope restored to come out victorious worthily to the Blaugrana’s badge.

Barca News Network brings you 3 talking points ahead of the second episode of the spring El Clasico trilogy.

1. Late blows

After the difficulties of the last weeks, all the culés had their hopes in seeing their stars back in action, and despite the heavy injury wave among the crucial protagonists, positive sensations arose about their return. Lewandowski was already back in the starting XI last weekend against Athletic Bilbao, while Pedri and Dembélé were also expected to recover until the Clasico.

However, as recently reported by Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo, Ousmane Dembélé’s participation in Sunday’s clash is completely ruled out as his recovery is taking longer than expected initially. Pedri, on the other hand, had some bad feelings during today’s training session and can also be out for Clasico, as per Javi Miguel.

Since they are unavailable for selection, their absence has exerted a significant effect on the Blaugrana’s play, and indeed they managed to replace them with the likes of Kessié and Raphinha so as to minimize casualties, but still, they are far from what could they do with Pedri and Dembélé instead and their absence will be a sensible loss for Xavi.

2. Tactical approach

With Pedri and Dembélé virtually out, begs the question: what game approach will Xavi choose against Real Madrid? Keeping in mind the approach in recent games – one can expect to see something similar to what the Catalans displayed at the Bernabéu two weeks ago, which, in the end, proved to be the right call.

Moreover, looking at the state of the match, it would be justified to opt for such an approach, given that Barcelona are in the leading position right now, and if Los Blancos want to catch up to the Catalans in the league title race, they have to try hard and push for the victory, while Xavi’s men can be satisfied with a potential uneventful draw.

That would be, though, the total betrayal of the club’s traditions and typical playstyle, but we could see that Xavi embraced a rather unaesthetic, yet effective way to get the result. As we could see it in the Copa del Rey tie, it works, and it would be the logical choice from Xavi. However, football often defies logic, doesn’t it?

3. A title decider?

As mentioned before, it’s important to take into account the two teams’ positions in the league when talking about approaches. What is certain that Barcelona currently leads La Liga with 65 points claimed after 25 games, with a 9-point gap over second-placed Real Madrid, thus, it’s Real who are in desperate need of a result here.

A potential victory of the Blaugranas would mean that the title is virtually sealed as Barcelona would lift their first league trophy since Messi’s departure, whereas in case of a Madrid triumph, the Royal Whites would reduce their deficit to just 6 points, making the title race even more entertaining and competitive for the remaining 10 games to be played.

So, what could we expect? To be fair, it’s hard to guess what is in the heads of these masterminds – Xavi and Ancelotti – as the picture of the game could be affected by numerous factors, like the aforementioned injuries, the supportive faithful of Camp Nou, loyalty to what one usually does or switch to something else in hope of a better outcome.

Thus, there are plenty of questions to assess for both parties, and it will be, without a doubt, a crucial match, not only for its prestige and history but for its importance in terms of the title race as well. A victory against Real Madrid is always hard to earn but feels even better if achieved. Can Barcelona do it again?

The Latest

Mallorca coach reveals game plan to counter Xavi’s Barcelona

FC Barcelona are well prepared for their upcoming clash in La Liga EA Sports against a rigid opposition in RCD Mallorca. While statistically, their...

Xavi still optimistic about Brazilian gem coming to Barcelona in January – report

For top European clubs like FC Barcelona, recruiting the best players is always a great objective no matter the situation. For Barca, certain positions...

26-year-old Brazilian winger set to start for Barcelona against Mallorca – report

FC Barcelona return to league action soon enough in a clash against RCD Mallorca away from home. Entering their seventh game of La Liga...

Xavi talks Frenkie, Pedri, Raphinha, Kounde, Roque ahead of Barcelona vs Mallorca

FC Barcelona are preparing for their seventh match in the 2023-24 La Liga campaign as they face Mallorca on a midweek match tomorrow. Xavi's...

Official: Barcelona announce squad for the game against RCD Mallorca

Following their ‘Remontada’ over Celta Vigo, FC Barcelona already return to action in La Liga EA Sports. Set to face off against Javier Aguirre’s...

Xavi’s impressive record with the club surpassed only by two Barcelona managers

There were high hopes pinned on Xavi Hernandez as he became the head coach for FC Barcelona at the end of 2021. While everything...

Portuguese star repaying Xavi’s faith with his best career start at Barcelona

The latest FC Barcelona right-back, Joao Cancelo, has had a very varied career. He arrived at Barcelona aged 29 years and has already played...

Promising start to ex-defender’s season can benefit Barcelona financially – report

Oscar Mingueza is one of the several players who made the jump from La Masia to the FC Barcelona first team, but were unable...

Barcelona summer arrival dispels concerns about discipline with uplifting attitude

Joao Cancelo joined FC Barcelona on loan from Manchester City this summer transfer window. He was the main candidate identified by Xavi to strengthen...