For the second time this week, El Clásico will take place at the Bernabéu. After a disappointing 3-0 loss on Wednesday, which saw the elimination of Real from the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid have another chance to defeat Barcelona.
As we know, Barcelona are the current league leaders and have been for months now. Real remain third in the table after escaping with a 2-1 win over Levante last weekend. Hell Week concludes with Saturday’s rematch before Real have to finish out their second leg with Ajax next Tuesday.
With a win, Real can at least redeem themselves a bit from their loss on Wednesday. They need to be able to actually finish their chances this time around and they need to do something about their second half performances. They start well in the first half and when they’ve come out for the second half of play recently, they look completely lost and out of sync.
A win would bring Real within six points of Barcelona, so that would at least make things a tad bit more interesting with this title race. Real would also jump Atlético by one point, at least until Atlético play Sociedad on Sunday.
Not much has changed for either side on the injury list. Real remain without Llorente. Ramos is also back in the LaLiga squad after serving his suspension in last weekend’s match. Isco is finally back in the squad so we’ll have to see if and how he is featured.
Barcelona remain without Rafinha, Thomas Vermaelen, and Jasper Cillessen.
Real will be without Nacho due to suspension, after he was red carded towards the tail end of the Levante match. Barcelona have no suspensions on their end for Saturday’s Clásico.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Vinicius, Benzema
Keylor Navas started in net for the Copa del Rey match, it’s likely Courtois gets the spot back in this weekend match as he has been in LaLiga.
Reguilón started against Barcelona on Wednesday, it’ll be interesting to see who Solari trusts to get the start this time around.
The other question is who starts on the left side. Vazquez started on Wednesday and didn’t do a whole bunch, so perhaps Solari should entertain the idea of giving Bale the rare start to see if the attacking trio yield a better result, or at least a goal.
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Rakitić; Messi, Coutinho, Suarez
Real Madrid-Barcelona 2-2
Real have a challenge on their hands yet again this week. They have been absolutely poor in both Clásicos this season, losing 5-1 and 3-0 respectively so far. They need a win, the way things have gone recently it’s almost to be expected they’ll either lose or draw. A loss might almost guarantee that Real will not be winning the league this year either. Nevertheless, you have to keep the faith that they will somehow respond to that midweek elimination with a great performance here.
Real need to finish their chances they get this match, you can’t miss good, open opportunities against Barcelona and expect to get those back. They also need to come out just flat out better in the second half, as mentioned before, because they’ve pulled off a vanishing act as of late when they come out of the tunnel after halftime.
This is obviously a big match, and an evenly important match awaits the club this coming week with the Ajax second leg at the Bernabéu. You have to keep the faith that Real will somehow respond to that midweek elimination with a great performance here and a good home showing to make up to the fans.