Following the seven undefeated matches in La Liga with an equal number of clean sheets , Barcelona are now set to face their eternal rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. The match seems to be a clash of titans as both teams have been in terrific form in the recent weeks. Barcelona haven’t conceded any goals in the league so far making a new record of clean sheets by Claudio Bravo.While Real Madrid have recovered very well from the earlier defeats they faced against Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid while for Barca a minor surprise setback they faced was in the match against Paris Saint Germain which now seems to be a forgotten story as they have performed very well both offensively and defensively after that one off night.
For Real Madrid . their star striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been in the form of his life becoming the first player to score 14 goals from 8 matches and is on the brink of creating a new world record of hat-tricks while the scoring chart of Barcelona as been carried by arguably the best player in the world Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Messi has been in terrific form himself scoring 7 and assisting 7 in the 8 matches played. He is expected to display his unbelievable super human skills every time he steps on the pitch and he hasn’t disappointed us with that. He has looked like his former self under Luis Enrique or in other words a complete selfless footballer who is an equal master in setting up goals for others as he is in scoring.
Alongside Messi, Neymar is having a super season for himself as he is the current top scorer of Barca scoring 8 goals in as many League matches. Ronaldo on the other hand has been in a beast mode as he is currently the League top scorer reaching an astronomical figure of 15 goals in just 8 matches supported by the 100 million man Gareth Bale who has scored 4 goals so far. While Ronaldo is leading the goal scoring chart, Messi has been leading the assist table in the League.
Comparing the other players of the two teams both compete head to head with each other . The recent buy of the current golden shoe holder Luis Suarez completes the deadly trio of MSN – Messi, Neymar and Suarez standing up against the BBC – Bale, Benzema and Cristiano.
While at the centre of the pitch Barcelona boasts probably the best midfield in the world with Iniesta,Busquets and Rakitic in their squad and Xavi Hernandez and Sergi Roberto on the bench. Javier Mascherano can also play the role of a defensive midfielder as he has been acting out that role for the Argentina national team for quite a long time. On the other hand Real Madrid boast the recent galactico James Rodriguez , Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the midfield. However against a team of Barca’s stature, they can feel the absence of a proper defensive midfielder for the first time in the League. Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic has been in an outstanding form even outshining Andres Iniesta with his amazing performances. The presence of Rakitic gives the team an extra edge as he is a tireless worker on pitch who can shoot form distance and can help in defense as well. In case of Real,James has been slowly improving his game while Kroos has blended perfectly in the Carlo Ancelotti system along side Modric.
In the defense Barca seem to have an edge as they have not conceded a single goal in the played 8 matches while Real are the 2nd highest conceding team in the League with only Deportivo La Coruna above them. However to contradict that Real are also the highest scoring team in the league as well.
This classico awaits the long pending arrival of the former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez back into action. The presence of Suarez will give an extra dimension to Barcelona’s attack as the Uruguayan striker is lethal in front of the goal with being good in the air as well- a quality that has been missing in their attack since a long time. The match guarantees a nail biting contest between the two teams in an atmosphere where emotions boil and the players put out all their heart and soul for getting the upper hand over each other. The clasico can also see a historical record being set up at the Bernabeu as the Barcelona’s golden man ‘Lionel Messi’ is on the verge of breaking yet another record as he trails behind the Telmo Zarra’s number of 251 goals by just 1 goal which he could break by scoring 2 goals in front of the Madrid crowd. The record just reminds us of how magical of a player Leo Messi is and his numbers certainly put his as one of the greatest of all time .
My bet would be on both teams scoring with a Barca win as they look more balanced as a team.May be I am being a bit biased here with the prediction but I see a Barca win at the Bernabeu on 25th with Messi registering his name as La Liga’s top scorer of all time scoring a brace.
Hoping for an amazing encounter !!