FC Barcelona will be coming up tonight against direct rivals Real Madrid in an epic and a herculean encounter at the Estadio de Camp Nou. This is going to be the first El Clasico in the 2019/20 season.
Undoubtedly the El Clasico is the biggest of all games as far as club football is concerned. Initially, this game was to be honoured on October 26 but had to have a change of date on two occasions due to the current political tension in the city of Catalan.
The Spanish Interior Ministry have guaranteed both teams and their fans who will troop to the stadium tonight their safety despite the unpleasant scenes and happenings in Catalona. Meanwhile, Real Madrid have threatened to boycott the game if the away fans decided to attack their bus whiles heading into the stadium for the game.
It is going to be a tedious task for both teams as they all have 35 points but the Blaugranas sit at the top of the Laliga table with goal difference. It is obvious the winner tonight will be leading the table into the new year.
The Blaugranas are unbeaten in their last five games in all competition with four wins and a draw. They got held to a 2-2 drawn game by Real Sociedad last Saturday at the fortress, Estadio Anoita San Sabastien.
With Barcelona dropping points earlier, the Los Blancos had the chance to go top of the Laliga table but also bottled it after drawing to Valencia at Mestalla thanks to Karim Benzema’s last minute equaliser.
Both teams will be heading into the game with the current top two players on the Pichichi chat. Both Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema are all on 12 goals in the league so far but the Barcelona skipper has fewer games. Again, the highest scorer tonight will clinch top spot on the pichichi table.
Manager Ernesto Valverde has most of his key players available to select from tonight but players like Ousmane Dembele and Arthur Melo will be missing tonight. Meanwhile, talisman, Lionel Messi is available and still remains the all time top scorer in this fixture with 26 goals and will be anticipating to score to widen the gap.
On the other hand, the visitors will be missing most of their key players including Eden Hazard who joined from Chelsea in the last summer. Not only him but Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez are all unavailable for the game tonight. Diego Marcelo still hasn’t recovered from his calf injury and he’s also likely to miss out tonight.
Possible XI for both teams:
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Alba, Pique, Lenglet, Bousquet, Rakitic, De Jong, Griezmann, Messi (C) and Suarez
Real Madrid: Coutoise, Cavarjal, Mendy, Ramos (C), Varane, Casemiro, Valverde, Kroos, Isco, Rodrygo and Benzema.
Time: 1900GMT/ 7:00pm
Referee: Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez.
By: Iddriss Abdul Rahim