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El Clásico, FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Goalkeepers preview

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Iker Casillas is under the spotlight. The Spanish goalkeeper and Real Madrid's captain has been whistled by the Santiago Bernabéu crowd lately, but especially after the 4-0 loss to Atlético de Madrid and the embarrassing 3-4 defeat against Schalke 04. Casillas is the lowest rated player on Real Madrid's Starting XI (data via WhoScored), and it's hard to predict his future in the club. One thing is for certain, though. The goalkeeper position is the one Real Madrid could upgrade the most in the next transfer market.

However, Real Madrid's problems with the goalkeepers do not end here. Keylor Navas, his replacement and arguably the best goalkeeper during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has failed to make a big impact when given the chance. How much of that is related to his lack of opportunities and confidence? The Costa Rican probably expected some more minutes on his first year with the club, especially after Casillas' shaky performances.

The waters are much more calmer in FC Barcelona. Claudio Bravo is the starter in La Liga and Ter Stegen gets the spot in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. It seems that Luis Enrique liked Carlo Ancelotti's strategy for the 2013-2014 season, and it's paying dividends. Ter Stegen is probably the best goalkeeper of them two -- certainly the one with the biggest potential --, but Bravo is completing some good performances as well. There is not much controversy around the goalkeeper spot in Barcelona, something that allows both players to play with confidence, and that's exactly the opposite from what's happening in Real Madrid. Both Bravo and Ter Stegen are very good with the ball on their feet and they help their team keep the possession, something that will be very important in the Camp Nou.

They aren't great when it comes to aerial play, just like Casillas and Keylor. But since Real Madrid are far more dangerous than FC Barcelona on set pieces, this is one aspect that Los Blancos should take advantage from.

Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Iker Casillas is going to be Real Madrid's goalkeeper in El Clásico. The Italian coach is not paying attention to those fans whistling Iker Casillas' name after every defeat, and he has every right to do so. However, the biggest question that comes to mind is: Does Carlo Ancelotti really believe Casillas is in better form than Keylor Navas? Or is he just doing politics by sticking to the captain in order to avoid problems with the media and the board?

Advantage in the GK position: FC Barcelona.

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