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Three keys to a Real Madrid win in El Clasico against Barcelona

Will Zidane try to control the game or would a counterattacking style benefit his team?

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Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s visit to Barcelona is full of question marks. First of all, coach Zinedine Zidane has many options to replace the injured Eden Hazard in the starting lineup, depending on whether Zidane wants his team to control the tempo of the game or sit back and wait for counterattacks. Here are three keys to a Real Madrid win at the Camp Nou.

  1. It’s time to expose Barcelona’s transition defense. While it’s tempting to have Kroos controlling the game at will, this version of Barcelona are comfortable counterattacking. Messi and Griezmann have the quality to create dangerous chances even when your defensive line is set but Barça’s defensive could struggle against Benzema, Bale and Vinicius. If Real Madrid decide to play through counterattacks, it’s clear that both Bale and Vinicius should feature in the starting lineup as they have the speed and dribbling skills to be a threat at all times.
  2. Take advantage of the set pieces. Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Fede Valverde and Casemiro all have the potential to be very dangerous through corner kicks, especially considering that only Pique and Busquets are as tall as them. We saw Real Madrid scoring a very late equalizer against Valencia off a corner kick, proving how valuable these plays can be. That’s why Los Blancos should take them very seriously this time, as they have a size advantage against Barcelona.
  3. Don’t be overambitious. Let’s be clear, a draw here would be a good result for Real Madrid. They’ve visited Valencia, Barcelona, Atletico and Sevilla during the first half of the Liga season and will face those four teams at the Bernabeu in 2020. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t go for the three points if they can, but Zidane’s men shouldn’t take too many risks during the late stages of the game if the game is level.


Date: 12/18/2019

Time: 20:00 CEST (local time), 02:00pm EST.

Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain.

Available TV: BeIN Sports (USA), Movistar La Liga (Spain)

Available Streaming: BeIN Sports Connect (USA), Fubo.TV (USA).

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