Each version of El Clásico is loaded with its personal storylines, every strand including one other layer to the historic rivalry between Actual Madrid and Barcelona.
Described by La Liga as a “true cultural phenomenon, drawing the eye of tens of millions of followers worldwide,” Sunday’s match at Barça’s Camp Nou stadium might be with fraught with significance, for the end result might all however settle the title race.
A win for Barça would open up a 12-point lead on the prime of the desk, making the league title a excessive likelihood, if not fairly a mathematical certainty, whereas a win for Actual Madrid would maintain the race alive with 12 matches remaining after Sunday’s recreation.
Los Blancos will journey to Camp Nou buoyed by defeating Liverpool 1-0 on Wednesday to seal their place within the Champions League quarterfinals with an mixture 6-2 victory.
Vinícius Jr, who was dubbed “the perfect on this planet” by Actual coach Carlo Ancelotti on Wednesday, excelled in that victory, creating the one purpose of the sport for Karim Benzema, and his battle with Barcelona defender Ronald Araújo could possibly be key to deciding El Clásico.
“He’s struggled a bit extra in latest video games, however Viní Jr. is all the time Viní Jr,” Ancelotti stated on Saturday, in keeping with the Actual’s web site.
“His mobility provides us a lot, I’m occupied with placing him on the appropriate as a result of he’s succesful, however we’ll see. That freedom and taking part in with out a fastened reference level could possibly be essential.
“It’s one other drawback for the defenders. I’m kidding about him taking part in on the appropriate … he’ll be on the left however with larger freedom.”
Benzema, one other pillar of Actual’s assault, will play on Sunday regardless of struggling a knock throughout the week, Ancelotti stated.
Whereas Benzema will take to the sector for Los Blancos, Barça might be with out Pedri and Ousmane Dembélé on account of harm, two of its most spectacular gamers this season.
La Blaugrana has already defeated Actual Madrid twice this yr, again in January to win the Spanish Tremendous Cup closing and in March to take a 1-0 lead of their Copa del Rey semifinal. The return match is on the Camp Nou on April 5.
Nonetheless, Actual did triumph within the league recreation again in October on the Bernabéu, Ancelotti’s crew profitable El Clásico 3-1.
Barça coach Xavi downplayed any notion that his crew was the favourite to win Sunday’s recreation.
“They’re robust. Very robust, just lately,” Xavi stated, in keeping with Barça’s web site. “They’re bodily significantly better than they had been in January. I’m certain they’ll put our protection below strain.”
“This Madrid crew is the European champion and so they gained the final league comfortably. It’ll be a good recreation, and I say now we have a 50% probability.”
It has been a lopsided season for Actual, lagging behind Barça in La Liga and going through that 1-0 deficit of their Copa del Rey semifinal, however remaining on observe to defend its Champions League title.
Earlier than Sunday’s match, Ancelotti addressed hypothesis about his future on the membership, saying he “would keep at this membership for the remainder of my life however that’s inconceivable,” including hat it’s “a choice for the membership to make.”
“If they need me for 3 months, I’ll benefit from it and the identical goes as if they need me for 3 years … Anyway, I’m sure we’ll win one thing this season and that can put the doubts at relaxation. We’re at a drawback within the Copa and La Liga however that’s not the case within the Champions League.”
Barça, in the meantime, as soon as once more fell brief in Europe, failing to achieve the knockout phases of the Champions League and dropping to Manchester United within the Europa League, whereas the membership can be embroiled in a referee fee scandal.
“”We’re simply centered on competing,” Xavi stated on Saturday. “We attempt to maintain pure with the gamers and never get distracted by all that may occur at a membership like this.”
El Clásico will kick off at 4pm ET on Sunday afternoon at Camp Nou, Barcelona. It’s obtainable to look at on the next channels:
Canada: TSN, RDS
Brazil: Star+, ESPN
UK: Premier Sports activities, La Liga TV, ITV