Only hours away from the first regular season El Clasico of the year. As we've seen throughout most of this week -- it's been crazy and almost over saturation if you will of information building up to this. With Real Madrid 3 points (and a game) in front of FC Barcelona, this could be a very telling Clasico.
I've gone ahead and done some work for you, so all you have to do is grab your favorite beverage sit back and relax. You know, Real Madrid's Superman to Barca's Lex Luthor or....well I'm not going to go off into some nerdy rant. Really lets just get to the news shall we?
Lets start off with some comedic gold: when paid football writers run out of things to talk about, you know, "relevant stuff" they resort to the "What If" game. We don't have to look any further than Goal.com's Frank Isola -- "Barcelona with Cristiano Ronaldo would never lose".
"I honestly understand why there are those who compare (Messi) to Maradona but I repeat: at least right now, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best," Henry was quoted as saying. "In the future... we will see."
It seems that the manager of the Spanish international team -- has decided to give Pep Guardiola some advice on how to deal with Real Madrid. Never mind that Del Bosque is a former Real Madrid manager and has it in for the team, the president of the team and the team's clubhouse dog (well, not sure about that last statement.).
Now stand back as Del Bosque gives the ultimate advice, I hope you're all ready for it!
"When I coached Real Madrid we played three at the back in a semi-final of the Champions League [against Barcelona] and ended up winning the club's eighth European Cup," he stated. "Barcelona have several options against Madrid and Guardiola must choose the one that he sees fit."
Wow, just wow -- with this advice maybe I could be a coach too?
We all know that Jose Mourinho has a tentative relationship with the Spanish press as it is, I don't think he's going to be on their Christmas card list this year (or any year for that matter). We also know that he loves the mind games, it's part of who he is. So then it should come as no surprise that he skipped the Clasico pre-match press conference and sent his second in command--Aitor Karanka--in his stead.
Aitor (of course) wasn't pleased when asked several times by the press corp gathered on why Mr. Mourinho wasn't present. Can't blame the guy either, the Spanish press isn't the greatest collection of sports journalists out there. All one has to do is refer to the fish wrap -- Marca.
Tis the season for Top 10 lists as well when it comes to El Clasico, this one comes with visual aids any everything. The Sun has compiled a list what it thinks is the Top 10 El Clasico Goals.
We do a hell of a job of breaking down the tactical end of things when it comes to matches, but I'll tell you what one of my go-to sites is Zonal Marking -- if you haven't checked them out now is the time. ZM breaks the El Clasico breakdown in their tactical preview of today's tie.
This time instead of a former Real Madrid coach dispensing advice, we have a former FC Barcelona coach doing it. Apparently, according to Cesar Menotti -- Real Madrid is afraid of the Catalan's. It seems that Los Blancos are still stunned by last seasons 5-0 Clasico loss.
"Obviously a result like that can happen, but it really was a huge blow to Madrid. I get the feeling that they have been afraid of Barca ever since that loss. "Madrid have shown fear and gave Barcelona way too much respect. They've had very few ideas of their own in order to really compete with Barca since that defeat."
The only thing I can think of is that, there is a reason he is a former coach.
What ever the case may be we'll find out that result in just a few short hours. To be honest I've been antsy about this since the start of the week. It's a big match, with huge implications: if los blancos win we have a six point lead (with a game in hand); but if the unthinkable happens, FC Barcelona draws even (for now).