Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Preview and Prediction

The latest instalment of El Clasico will provide Barcelona with a chance to revive the title race when they square up against league leaders Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid are all set to host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. The team in white have an eight-point lead at the top of La Liga with seven games to go. And, this fixture will give second-placed Barcelona an opportunity to reduce the lead at the top to five points and give themselves an outside chance of winning the league title.

Los Blancos have been a dominant force throughout the season. They are currently top of the league and have also made it to the Champions League semi-finals. They have only lost one league game all season long and have won each of their last league games.

They are heading into this one on the back of a morale-boosting win over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. They showcased exceptional defensive capabilities to hold off the defending champions and won the game on penalties. And, the home side will look to continue their run when they face arch-rivals Barcelona.

Meanwhile, the Catalan giants have not been as good as they were last season. While the Blaugrana have had a great run since the turn of the year, they will most likely go trophy-less this season given the eight-point difference at the top of La Liga and having been knocked out of the Champions League by PSG.

Barcelona had a lead heading into the quarter-final second leg but they ended up suffering a 4-1 defeat at home to end their UCL campaign in the worst possible way. But, they can bounce back by defeating rivals Real Madrid.

Their league form is quite good as they won each of their last four matches and they could use the PSG loss as a motivation for this outing. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba remain sidelined by injuries. But they have a boost as Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior are fit to feature in this fixture after being subbed off in their last fixture because of injury problems.

Meanwhile, Aurelien Tchouameni, who was suspended for the Manchester City fixture is back in the mix and should start here. Carlo Ancelotti could make a few changes to his starting XI here given they had a long outing in the UEFA Champions League earlier this week as the match went into extra time.

They will stick to the 4-4-2 formation, where Andriy Lunin will continue in goal. Lucas Vazquez could start here alongside Ferland Mendy as the full-backs. Tchouameni could pair up with Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the defence.

The midfield could remain unchanged with Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde starting alongside Toni Kroos. Jude Bellingham should continue as the attacking midfielder. In attack, Brahim Diaz could star alongside Rodrygo Goes if Ancelotti feels the need to rest Vinicius Junior

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Lunin; Vazquez, Tchouameni, Rudiger, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo

Real Madrid vs Barcelona Predicted XI


Gavi and Alejandro Balde are still out injured. But Sergi Roberto and Andreas Christensen, who were both suspended for the second leg against PSG, are available here. Xavi is expected to field a full-strength XI to ensure they can defeat their arch-rivals away from home after suffering a defeat in the reverse fixture.

He will stick to the 4-3-3 formation, where Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo should continue as the full-backs, while teenage sensation Pau Cubarsi could once again start alongside Ronald Araujo in the heart of the defence.

In the centre of the park, Andreas Christensen could start alongside Pedri and Ilkay Gundogan. The trio will look to ensure they control the tempo of this game and do not allow the Real Madrid attackers to hit them on the break. Raphinha and Lamine Yamal should continue on the flanks, while Robert Lewandowski will be leading the line for them.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Cubarsi, Cancelo; Gundogan, Christensen, Pedri; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Real Madrid vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • The reverse fixture between Barcelona and Real Madrid ended 2-1 in favour of the team in white thanks to two goals from Jude Bellingham.
  • Los Blancos have won 104 outof the 256 matches played between the two teams while Barcelona have registered 100 wins.
  • Real Madrid have been unbeaten in their last 16 matches in all competitions.
  • The last 13 meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona have not produced a single draw. The Merengues have won nine of those games.
  • The Catalan giants have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five league games.

Player to Watch

Jude Bellingham

Embed from Getty Images

Bellingham was the difference between the two teams when they met earlier in the season. The 20-year-old is having a sensational debut season for Los Blancos. He has featured in 35 matches and has contributed towards 20 goals (ten goals, ten assists).

The former Borussia Dortmund has been performing on a consistent level. But he has not contributed towards a goal in their last three outings. And, he will be eager to get himself back on the scoresheet and once again help his team defeat the Catalan giants.


Real Madrid 3-2 Barcelona

Real Madrid are heading into this fixture on the back of a morale-boosting win over Manchester City, and they will be confident about their chances. Moreover, they will see this as a chance to seal the league title to help them shift their focus completely on the Champions League. As a result, Carlo Ancelotti is expected to go all out for the win.

Barcelona will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on the back of a 4-1 defeat at the hands of PSG which ended their UEFA Champions campaign. They will use that defeat as a motivation to push through Los Blancos. Meanwhile, a defeat here will ensure they will finish the season without a trophy, as a result, they will look to give it their all.

However, even that might not be enough against this Real Madrid team who just know how to get the desired result. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-2 win for the home team, who will be a part of another classic with Barcelona after many previous instances.

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