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Open Thread: 13 October 2022

Thursday Edition of The Daily Merengue

Netherlands v Belgium: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 4 Photo by Michael Bulder/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Daily Merengue is a place where you can feel free to discuss all things football. Do not be alarmed by the overt RMCF bias. It’s in the name!

Shoutout to the mods who do a fantastic job, Valyrian Steel, KungFuZizou, NeRObutBlanco, Felipejack, and Juninho!

Will he be ready for this weekend though?

Some lesser known El Clasico Stats before this weekend’s showdown.

This is the 185th meeting between the historic rivals and Real Madrid edge the La Liga head-to-head record between the pair with three more wins than their Catalan rivals (76 vs. 73), with draws being 35.

Both clubs have scored exactly the same number of goals in La Liga Clásico matches (295), with Barcelona’s 4-0 win last season taking them level with Real Madrid for Clásico goals in La Liga and now both are five away from hitting the 300-mark.

The last time that Barcelona ended a season with more La Liga titles than their rivals Real Madrid was back in 1960-61 – Real had just won their seventh title, following Barcelona’s eighth the season before. Since levelling Barca with their eighth La Liga title in 1961-62, the Catalan club have never caught Real Madrid’s tally up.

Barcelona come into El Clásico with the fourth youngest average starting XI age in La Liga this season, at 25 years and 343 days old. Only Valencia (24y 96d), Almería (25y 336d) and Real Sociedad (25y 340d) have been younger, while Xavi’s side have been almost two years younger than that of Real Madrid’s starting XIs on average in 2022-23 so far (27y 217d).

Benzema has 11 goals in this fixture across all competitions, which ranks as the joint ninth most in El Clásico history, but way off Messi’s ridiculous record tally of 26. Lewandowski who’s the current top scorer in La Liga with nine goals will look to open his account in the fixture.

Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets could play in his 44th competitive Clásico match. That would take him just one behind the all-time record, currently shared by Messi and Sergio Ramos, neither who play in La Liga any longer.

Real’s 13-point lead over Barcelona last season was their biggest positive points differential over their rivals in La Liga since 2007-08, when they won the title ahead of runners-up Villarreal and Barcelona finished 18 points behind in third place.

This is Los Blancos best league start since 1991-92 (also W7 D1 L0), a season which they ended as runners-up to Barcelona by a single point.

Barcelona have currently conceded just one goal across their eight matches this season in La Liga – the lowest tally in the 2022-23 competition so far and only bettered by their own record in 2014-15 when they kept a clean sheet in their first eight games on the way to the title. The ninth game that season? A 3-1 defeat away to Real Madrid.

Can’t say it isn’t deserved

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