Real madrid visit Barcelona in what could be a season-defining El Clasico this Sunday. Los Blancos and Barça are still very much competing for La Liga title with teams like Atletico Madrid, Sevilla or even Espanyol, so one could think that it’s now time for the two big powerhouses to build a lead and make the difference. Madrid have been playing very poorly lately and momentum seems to be against them. Reports suggest that coach Lopetegui will be sacked if his men can’t get the three points. Here are three keys to a Real Madrid win.
- Messi is not playing. This could be a decisive factor considering how much Madrid are struggling defensively lately. Much has been said about the lack of scoring punch, but keep in mind that Los Blancos have conceded against poor teams also, especially through counterattacks. Messi is devastating in those situations, so Madrid might as well be able to control the tempo of the game more effectively.
- Don’t try to do too much offensively. AKA, don’t pass up good shots. Real Madrid have been moving the ball well but they often try to make the extra pass when they could try to score. Bale needs to be more incisive and go for it as soon as he can now that he is the undisputed offensive leader of this team. It’s not enough for him to play well, he must also score or at least create some serious issues.
- Self-belief. Real Madrid can beat this Barcelona team. Pique and Co. have been very poor defensively —so have been Madrid’s backline— and Lopetegui’s attackers will surely have chances to score. Madrid must keep in mind that this Barcelona team is struggling a lot also, so Lopetegui has to find a way to get his men ready for the task ahead.
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM LA LIGA
Time: 16:15 CEST, 11:15am EST, 08:15am Pacific.
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain