It’s that time of year again in La Liga, another El Clasico and another battle between two of the sport’s largest powerhouses; Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. This will be one of the many times these two Spanish league-topping teams have met this year, and the first time they will meet in the Copa del Ray. Each side is a little weakened due to injuries and other problems, but the match will no doubt prove to be entertaining as always. Barcelona trails Real by only five points in the standings, but Real has lost or tied with Barcelona in each El Clasico this year.
It was only one month ago that the two teams met in the third Clasico of the year. Barcelona came into the match being nine points behind Real in the standings, and also coming off of some disappointing match results as well. Even though Real scored within the first five minutes, Barcelona came back to win the match with a final score of 1 to 3.
What’s going to be different this time around? Injuries. Barcelona lost one of their biggest star players in David Villa due to a knee injury that has put him on the sidelines for the season. Although this is good for Real, they are not without injury problems themselves. Angel di Maria is still in recovery from suffering a muscle contusion in his right thigh during training, and could very well miss the match. Both of these injuries will have effects on the strategies and formations of both sides. Madrid could switch to the more defensive 4-3-3, and Barcelona will have to deal with not having Villa and Pedro on the wings.
Whether it comes down to strategy, player performance, or pure luck (a theme which is prevalent in Clasico meetings), the match should prove to be very entertaining and full of excitement.