The Spanish giants meet for 233rd
El Clasico on Sunday, just days after their respective and all-important
Champions League clashes, in a crucial battle for points in Primera title
years have passed since the first El Clasico, where Real Madrid and Barcelona
have played 232 competitive matches and Los Blancos have just narrowly better
records. Real have thus earned 93 wins while their rivals have 90 wins to their
name, with 49 draws also on the record.
Barcelona hold the record of the longest
streak against the fierce rivals (six consecutive wins from 1948 to 1949), we
haven’t seen one side connect three since Blaugrana’s run in 2011/12. The
Spanish giants have often decided the title winners in their head-to-head
encounters and this season looks all set for another such occasion.
Madrid currently have 75 points earned in
31 matches and stand three points in the clear with a game in hand, as
Barcelona got 72 points from 32 games. Both sides have made quite some slip-ups
along the way, but Los Blancos do come into the match in a somewhat better
shape as they have an 11-match unbeaten
streak behind them. Barca have a somewhat
more lenient schedule towards the end of the season, as Real are yet to play
Sevilla who also look for their way into the league’s top 3.
The current form
have returned to the winning ways after
two consecutive losses, beating Real Sociedad (3-2) in front of the home fans.
However, more worryingly will be their loss at Juventus (3-0) in their
Champions League clash with the return match in front of the home fans on
schedule for Wednesday.
Zidane’s men have earned their already mentioned 11-match unbeaten streak, as
we’ve seen them bag nine wins and two draws, including a 1-2 win at Bayern
Munich and a 2-3 win at Sporting Gijon last week. They hope to hold off the Bavarians
and keep their unbeaten streak intact, further building their confidence ahead
of the season finale.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Leo Messi
Messi has been an obvious key in Barcelona’s moves forward with his bad days
reflecting the team’s threatening potential and goalscoring form. Netting 29
goals in 28 league matches, he’s been struggling against Malaga and Juventus
but returned to fine goalscoring form against Sociedad, netting two goals early
in the first half. Neymar and Suarez have had awesome days too, but they’ve
both failed to find the net in any of their last three games.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, has fewer
goals to his name (19 in Primera) this term and he also hasn’t been to net a
goal in the two outings after the International break, but bagging two in the
all-important clash at Bayern Munich, he’ll be as confident as ever. Gareth
Bale has been under the question mark with a calf
injury, which could be a major concern for their moves forward with more
pressure on CR7.