El Clasico makes its 2020 debut when the top two clubs in La Liga meet at the Bernabéu on Sunday evening.
Real are coming off what has been a very tough week for them. First, they dropped a 1-0 loss against Levante last Saturday, which was only Real’s second league loss. And then came the very disappointing Manchester City 2-1 loss in the Champions League midweek.
Barcelona regained the top spot of La Liga last weekend, now two points ahead. This is the most important El Clasico in a good while given how close both Real and Barcelona have been in the standings all season.
The first El Clasico happened back in December, a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou.
Real Madrid will still be without Eden Hazard. Marco Asensio remains out. James and Luka Jovic have been left off the squad as well, with Jovic being replaced by Mariano for this match.
Barcelona have their share of injuries as well. They remain without Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.
There are no suspensions for either club in this edition of El Clasico.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Vinicius, Benzema
Zidane has a few options with who he starts on Sunday. Kroos should be back in the starting lineup after not featuring against Manchester City. This means one of Modric or Valverde likely sit.
Bale could be given the start on the right alongside Vinicius and Karim Benzema. Isco is a good option as well after he and Vinicius connected well for Real’s lone goal against City.
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Firpo; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Vidal, Griezmann, Messi
Real Madrid—Barcelona 1-1
Regardless of result, Real Madrid must play better than the flat way they’ve been the last couple of weeks. They need to be able to finish off this hell week with somewhat of a positive note going forward.
Real have the chance to turn their play around this match and get a good result in front of their home crowd. They certainly need to lift spirits at the Bernabéu after the way their Champions League match finished.
Even though Ronaldo vs. Messi isn’t a central fixture of El Clasico anymore, there’s still plenty to look forward to in this classic rivalry.
The standings have been tight this year compared to the last couple of seasons and that only raises the stakes for a derby match of this caliber.
This is still El Clasico, so get excited for a historic matchup between two clubs battling it out for the La Liga title.