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El Clasico – Barcelona vs Real Madrid preview

el clasico

Real Madrid travel to the Camp Nou on Sunday for the first El Clasico encounter between the two sides in the 2018/19 La Liga season.

This could possibly be Julen Lopetegui’s last game in charge of Real Madrid as reports have speculated. Well, it remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Barcelona will be welcoming a Los Blancos setup that has been plagued by significant inconsistencies and turmoil this season.

They’ll be welcoming a Madrid side who finally managed their first win in their last 6 games against Viktoria Plzen at the Bernabeu in the UEFA Champions League. And not just that, the result left more to be desired.

Real Madrid are having their worst start to a league campaign in 17 years and one would think that Barcelona are huge favorites for all 3 points. Well, you might be right, although the outcome after 90+ minutes will tell the final story.

Barcelona, on their part, have also not been top notch either by their standards this term under Ernesto Valverde, although they’ve shown quality in their last two games against decent opposition.

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Another downside for the Catalans in this Clasico encounter is that they’ll be without the mercurial Lionel Messi. It can be recalled how this fixture has been tagged as the ‘Ronaldo vs Messi’ encounter in the last 11 years.

Well, it won’t be the case this season and Madrid’s job on the day might be less hectic with Messi’s absence from the Barcelona side.

TEAM NEWS FOR EL CLASICO – BARCELONA VS REAL MADRID

Lionel Messi is already confirmed out of the El Clasico encounter after suffering an arm injury last weekend and will be out for 3 weeks.

Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen are also not available for the game. The only CB options for Barcelona are Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique.

For the Los Blancos, Dani Carvajal might recover in time from a calf injury while Marcelo is expected to be passed fit for the game despite some initial fears.

Luka Modric has appeared fatigued in recent encounters. Therefore, it remains to be seen how Julen Lopetegui will handle the case with Dani Ceballos eager to get a chance.

Possible line-up for Barcelona vs Real Madrid for the El Clasico encounter:

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Semedo; Busquets, Arthur, Rakitic; Coutinho, Suarez, Rafinha

Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Courtois; Marcelo, Varane, Ramos, Odriozola; Casemiro, Kroos, Ceballos; Isco; Benzema, Bale

Sadly, Barcelona are favorites for a win despite Lionel Messi’s absence but they have the home advantage. However, we’ll get to see if Madrid’s win against Plzen in midweek was a fluke or a sign of recovery.