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Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Match preview

Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Match preview

Real Madrid will be bidding to move 11 points clear of second-placed Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table as they welcome their bitter rivals to the Santiago Bernabeu for the highly anticipated El Clasico tonight.

Both sides were in Champions League quarter-final action earlier this week. Madrid’s stoic defensive effort paid off at the Etihad Stadium, and Paris Saint-Germain trounced 10-man Barcelona 4-1 in Catalunya to book their spot in the semi-finals.

Real Madrid are on for a La Liga and Champions League double this season, and a victory over Barcelona on Sunday night would go a long way towards securing the title in Spain’s top flight.

This season, Real Madrid has dominated La Liga under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti. With 78 points, eight ahead of Barcelona, they are unbeaten in 31 games, boasting an impressive record of 24 victories, 6 draws, and only one loss.

Additionally, their attacking expertise, evidenced by 67 goals scored, and defensive solidity, with just 20 goals conceded, highlight their overall excellence.

The recent form of both teams further adds intrigue to this encounter. Real Madrid’s four consecutive league victories, including a hard-fought 1-0 win against Mallorca and a tense Champions League triumph over Manchester City, showcase their resilience and hunger for success.

On the other hand, Barcelona’s unbeaten league run since January, coupled with victories in their last four outings, signals their determination to challenge Madrid’s supremacy. This is Barcelona’s last chance to avoid a trophyless campaign in Xavi Hernandez’s possibly swansong season.

In terms of team news, Real Madrid’s defensive duo Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba remain sidelined, but the potential return of Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior provides a boost. Ancelotti has options like Jude Bellingham and Luka Modric to strengthen the midfield, creating a strong lineup.

For Barcelona, the availability of Sergi Roberto and Andreas Christensen strengthens their squad, although Gavi and Alejandro Balde remain sidelined. Xavi’s side will rely on the attacking trio of Yamal, Raphinha, and Robert Lewandowski to breach Madrid’s defense.

Historically, clashes between these Spanish giants have been fiercely contested, and Sunday’s encounter is expected to be no different. With only eight points separating them and crucial matches ahead, both teams will be eager to secure a vital victory.

There has not actually been a league draw between these two sides since December 2019. Although both sides were involved in emotional European affairs during the week, El Clasico holds even higher expectations for both Madridistas and Culers.

It is still all to play for in La Liga. Of course, Real Madrid have a significant edge, but should Barcelona snatch a result, it could become much more tense. Carlo Ancelotti can go all-out to win this match, doing everything in his power to make the remainder of the season comfortable.