El Clasico: Real Madrid is looking to increase their lead over Barcelona

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Real Madrid will be hoping for their sixth straight win against Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday, but they will be up against a side in the resurgent form under new manager Xavi.

El Clasico: Real Madrid is looking to increase their lead over Barcelona

The two European powers have already played twice this season, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side winning in the league at the Nou Camp and then defeating their Catalan opponents in the Supercopa de Espana in extra time.

It will be the first Clasico played at the Bernabeu since March 2020, following Real’s return to the legendary stadium earlier this season following renovations. The match on Sunday will be limited to 60,000 fans due to a sold-out crowd.

Real will start the game 15 points ahead of their opponents, who are in third place behind Sevilla and have not lost in the league since Xavi’s last setback in the campaign against Real Betis on December 4th.

It will also be a Clasico with a twist: neither team will be wearing its typical colors, with Real wearing a black kit to honor their 120th anniversary this month, and Barcelona donning a shirt with the yellow and red of the Catalan flag.

What are the stakes?

Real Madrid’s pride and El Clasico’s bragging rights are on the line, as the leaders lead Sevilla by ten points. Ancelotti did, however, mention earlier this week that his AC Milan team handed away a 3-0 lead in the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2005 as a means of implying that the title race was far from over.

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Barcelona, on the other hand, is trying to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season. Since the 2003-04 season, when Xavi was a player, they have never failed to qualify for Europe’s top competition.

That was also the last time Barcelona failed to reach the Champions League knockout stages, until this season, when Xavi was unable to save the club’s group stage after taking over from Ronald Koeman in November, as they finished third and were relegated to the Europa League.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said the game a “driving force” because both clubs have massive global followings and El Clasico is regularly the most-watched games in the world.

Who will be the deciding factor?

Real Madrid will be without in-form striker Karim Benzema, who has 22 goals in 25 La Liga games this season after suffering a calf injury in Monday’s 3-0 win over Mallorca.

El Clasico: Real Madrid is looking to increase their lead over Barcelona

Real do, however, have the league’s second-highest scorer in Vinicius Junior, a promising Brazilian future who has 14 goals.

Gareth Bale, Mariano Diaz, and Luka Jovic are among Ancelotti’s choices to replace Benzema, and the Italian will also contemplate deploying Isco and Rodrygo in that position.

Barcelona’s own frontman is in fine form, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the winner against Galatasaray in the Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, his seventh goal in ten appearances since joining on a free transfer from Arsenal.

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El Clasico: Real Madrid is looking to increase their lead over Barcelona

Aubameyang’s current form contrasts sharply with his final months in north London, when he fell out with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and was stripped of his club captaincy after a disciplinary transgression.

Because to the financial issues that led to the summer transfer of Lionel Messi to PSG, Barcelona’s other recruitment has mostly consisted of free transfers or loan agreements, notably the signing of winger Adama Traore from Wolves.

Who won most in El Clasico?

El Clásico has a long and illustrious history.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona were founded three years apart, in 1899 and 1902. The first El Clásico was held in the latter part of the year. It was part of the unofficial ‘Concurso Madrid de Foot-Ball Association,’ also known as the Copa de la Coronación.

Given that LaLiga had not yet been created and the Copa de Espana was the sole national competition, the majority of the first encounters between the two teams were friendly matches.

El Clasico: Real Madrid is looking to increase their lead over Barcelona

From the start, there was a rivalry.

The match became increasingly regular over time, especially after LaLiga was established in 1929.

Signing disputes, such as the 1950s war for Alfredo di Stefano’s signature, and contentious refereeing rulings only served to inflame the rivalry. Ladislao Kubala and Luis Suárez for Barça, and Ferenc Puskas and Di Stefano for Real Madrid, were among the top players of the era.

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The rivalry took on a new dimension in the middle of the twentieth century. Despite the fact that both clubs were from separate cities, it was nevertheless referred to as a derby rather than “El Clásico.”

Games with a lot of points and outstanding play

Over the decades, the rivalry did not fade, and the games were generally evenly matched. However, this did not stop Barça and Real Madrid from achieving some more thorough results. Some of Barça’s victories helped to develop a now-famous term: ‘La Manita,’ meaning 5 goals versus the eternal rivals.

Ronaldo Messi

One of the most memorable occurred in 1974, when Johan Cruyff was at his best: the 0-5 triumph at the Santiago Bernabéu remains one of the finest El Clásico performances, with the Dutchman as captain.

For younger generations, though, the 5-0 victory in 1994, with Cruyff as coach and Romario as the star player, is the more memorable match.

Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona stats

Who has the most El Clasico victories?

The following are the overall statistics:

  • Total wins for FC Barcelona: 96
  • Total wins for Real Madrid: 100
  • Draws: 52
  • Goals for FC Barcelona: 402
  • Goals for Real Madrid: 412
  • Home wins for FC Barcelona: 62
  • Home wins for Real Madrid: 64

When is Real Madrid v Barcelona?

Real Madrid v Barcelona will take place on Sunday 20th March 2022.

What time is kick-off?

Real Madrid v Barcelona will kick off at 9 pm.

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