Big Match Preview - Real Madrid vs Barcelona 23 Dec

Started by Bensergi, Dec 20, 2017, 11:14 PM

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Bensergi

Dec 20, 2017, 11:14 PM Last Edit: Dec 23, 2017, 05:42 PM by Bensergi
Real Madrid vs Barcelona
23 Dec, Sat, 8:00pm


We have a great El Clasico treat and it comes two days before Christmas. Leaders Barcelona will love to win on enemy territory of course, a scenario which could see them extend their lead over Real Madrid to a whopping 14 points.

Barca have the tightest defence away from home. With just three goals conceded on their road travels, no other team across Europe's major league has conceded fewer.



The signing of midfield henchman Paulinho was questioned at the start of the season, even ridiculed. But the Brazilian has scored six goals - two more than Cristiano Ronaldo! - and provided two assists already.

All of Real Madrid's attackers pale in comparison to Paulinho, the former Guangzhou Evergrande import.

At this stage of last season Cristiano Ronaldo had 10 goals in La Liga, Gareth Bale five and Karim Benzema four. This season Ronaldo has four, while Bale and Benzema have two apiece. But it is not just about those three.

Bench strength is also weak. Madrid got nine goals from the bench last season - Morata getting four of them. This season they only have one.

Madrid simply have to step on the gas this Saturday. If that doesn't happen, they can kiss their title defence hopes goodbye.



Big Team News:

Both teams will be able to field their strongest line-ups. Cristiano Ronaldo had his own personal training session on Wednesday, hampered by a calf problem he picked up in the World Club Cup final against Gremio. But the Portuguese should be ok.

Barcelona will be without Paco Alcacer. The attacker picked up an injury in last weekend's 4-0 drubbing of Deportivo.

For the first time an El Clasico will kick-off at lunchtime (8pm Singapore Time) as La Liga seeks more attention from Asian viewers with a potential audience of 650 million around the world tuning in to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi go head-to-head once more.

Madrid were the last side to beat Barca and in some style with a 5-1 aggregate thrashing in the Spanish Super Cup back in August.



Big Stat:
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have 53 goals each in 2017. That's including strikes for club and country. This is the last game for the year and will ultimately decide who will end the year as the top scorer.
Close behind that trio of attackers is PSG's Edinson Cavani (52) and Tottenham's Harry Kane (50).

Bensergi

Match Stats:

  • Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona
  • Shots: 10-16
  • Possession: 47%-53%
  • Corner kicks: 7-7


Barcelona produced a superb away performance to secure a victory over Real Madrid that all but eliminates their arch rivals from the Spanish title race.

A second-half Luis Suarez strike and Lionel Messi's penalty, after Dani Carvajal was sent off for handball, helped move Barca nine points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, and increased their advantage over defending champions Real to 14 points.

Karim Benzema hit the post and Cristiano Ronaldo missed two good chances in the first half, but the home side were blown away after the restart in the first El Clasico meeting of the Spanish league season.

Los Blancos started with Gareth Bale on the bench, and although he forced a save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen having come on following Carvajal's dismissal, the Wales forward was unable to spark a comeback.

Instead, late substitute Aleix Vidal added further insult in injury time with a third for Barca, as his shot from inside the box squeezed over the line after Messi's cut-back, despite the Argentine losing his boot in the build-up to his 200th assist for the club.

It is the first time Barca have won three consecutive league matches at the Bernabeu, and the result leaves Zinedine Zidane's side fourth in the table.

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