Once again, football fans around the world will enjoy the immense privilege of watching two squads full of insanely talented players fight for victory. El Clasico, the rivalry match of all rivalry matches, is finally happening -- and kickoff time is now only hours away!
Although both clubs are giants of La Liga, anything can happen in this high stakes match. In the most recent El Clasico, Barcelona delivered a devastating 0-4 defeat to Real Madrid at their home Santiago Bernabeu stadium, immediately sending the Madridista's hearts into meltdown.
There are solid reasons to believe that tomorrow's El Clasico will produce a similar result, particularly given the Blaugranas are currently on a record 38 match unbeaten run and the immense power of their MSN front-line, starring the on-form Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Football is a psychological game just as much as it is a physical one. Fortunately, the giants of Barcelona have the confidence and winning mentality on their side. While Barcelona is viewing this match as a challenge to be overcome, Zinedine Zidane has publicly expressed worry that some of his squad members may not be taking the match as seriously as needed.
As revealed by Catalan captain Andres Iniesta, neither he nor his team are taking this El Clasico lightly, but a unique opportunity to overcome their historical rivals in front of their adoring home crowd. Although Real Madrid have been performing below expectations this season, Iniesta has noted that teams have a tendency to produce unexpected results in high profile rivalries. Under the wise guidance of Iniesta, FC Barcelona will not underestimate its talented opponent. The World Cup hero also explained “It is the first final of all the finals we have left because, from here on, all games will be finals.”
On the other hand, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has expressed concerns over his club’s mindset going into El Clasico. Real Madrid sits in third place ten points away from the top of the table, and Zidane worries that some of his players might be more concerned about winning the UEFA Champions League than make a proper challenge for their domestic league. With an upcoming European knock-out match against Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in the cards, the Frenchman has ordered his players not to “save themselves” for any upcoming matches and focus on causing an upset at the Camp Nou instead.
Since winning El Clasico has such prestigious implications, Zidane wants Real Madrid to focus on producing a good result. Although several Real Madrid players have been away with their national squads during the international break, Zidane has been putting the remaining Blancos through intense training and should therefore prove a tough nut to crack for Luis Enrique's side.
While mentality certainly matters, of course, a key ingredient in winning is pure ability to play the game. Both teams have a trio of players that are often responsible for their goals and will all undoubtedly be in the starting lineup for tomorrow. While Barcelona have the mighty MSN trident to trust, Real Madrid's trio of Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo have what it takes to deliver if working cooperatively.
Statistics show that Barcelona have more ability, trust and confidence in their abilities at this moment in time. The MSN trio have played together far more often than BBC this season and have also scored more combined goals than their Madridista rivals -- which could not be any more encouraging for the millions of Cules who will watch the biggest game in football in a few hours.
With a sober mentality and a statistically proven history of surpassing Real Madrid, particularly in the last decade, there is reason to believe Barcelona will claim another El Clasico victory.