Winning streaks, unbeaten streaks, individual records- nothing seems dependable when predicting who the favourite is when Real Madrid face Barcelona. Although Real Madrid are in a better position for the next El Clasico, Barcelona have all their first team players back for the encounter.
Even though Los Blancos have won 5 of their 9 games against Barcelona in all competitions, their recent record against Barcelona hasn’t been the very best at Nou Camp, particularly in El Clasico games. Barcelona have lost just 3 of their last 13 games they have played at home, winning 7 and drawing 3.
Zidane would want his team to give a similar performance as they did at Vicente Calderon. Here are the 3 key battles, which might decide the fate of the game.
Marcelo vs Lionel Messi
Marcelo has been Madrid’s most adventurous defender. But, his knack of dribbling past players and scoring goals up front will be highly checked when he is covering Lionel Messi. The Argentine has been in sublime form lately and is Clasico’s top scorer with 21 goals.
Despite being hit by injuries; Messi has scored nine goals this season registering three assists. He has a shot accuracy of 59%. His average passing accuracy is 80%, hence preventing him from shooting won’t be the only concern for Marcelo.
Marcelo has been tremendous this season as well, since his return from injury. He has won 17 tackles this season with a success rate of 47%. He has made 15 interceptions, 17 clearances and one block.
Neymar vs Carvajal
Neymar has been one of the regular forwards of the world-class trio of Barcelona this season and he has been brilliant so far. He has scored four goals this season and registered five assists. He has a shot accuracy of 48%. He has been involved in 5 goals in his last 6 Clasicos (3 goals and 2 assists).
Carvajal has owned the right-back position in Madrid and has been very disciplined at the back. He has won six tackles this season with a success rate of 46%. He has made 11 interceptions, eight clearances and one block. It will be an interesting duel down the left.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergi Roberto
This looks much like a one-sided battle. Ronaldo has been brilliant in big matches so far this season and he will be pitted against Barcelona’s weakest link. Ronaldo has scored 10 goals this season and registered two assists. He has a shot accuracy of 47%.
Roberto has been really uncomfortable so far in that position and likely to commit blunders. He has won 18 tackles this season with a success rate of 45%. He has made 20 interceptions, 17 clearances and five blocks.
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