Real vs Barca

Real vs Barca, Real Madrid Vs Barcelona, Spain LaLiga Santander, Live Stream, Barcelona vs Real Madrid el clasico 2017 Real Madrid host Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu with the race for the La Liga title still going strong. Sure Madrid have held the lead for most part of the season and go into the game with a three-point advantage, with a game in hand, but that matters for nothing on Sunday. Barcelona have a gap to bridge and this game is monumental in doing so.

The two managers expressed differing thought processes ahead of the game. Where Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane said, “This game is not decisive. We still have seven games to play after that and every game will be important.” On the other hand, Luis Enrique stated: “It is a decisive match. You can lose the league or still have it open. I think it is the right time for us to go for it all. It is a final for us, without any doubt. In any case, until the league is decided mathematically, we’ve not lost.”
Neymar and Gareth Bale remained the focal point as far as players were concerned. The Brazilian had been suspended for three games earlier but Barcelona have appealed the judgment to Tribunal Administrativo del Deporte (Spain’s Sporting Tribunal). His inclusion remains in the air with Enrique standing by the club’s stance on the appeal even while stating, “I am prepared to play the game with or without Neymar.” While Zidane remained nonchalant on the inclusion of the Brazilian captain, “It is not my area, we will see tomorrow (Sunday) what happens. We will play whatever team is there.”

As far as Bale is concerned, he returned to training on Thursday after recovering from a calf injury. Zidane confirmed his place in the squad however the Frenchman remained mum on whether the Welshman will start or not.
Considering the game of this magnitude, Zidane is unlikely to push Bale into playing so quickly after recovering especially with plenty of season to be played – including the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

In his place, the two most ideal options are Asensio or Lucas Vazquez. Over the past few weeks, Asensio has become more of a choice for Zidane and is likely to start. In defense, Real Madrid would miss the services of Pepe who is injured and Raphael Varane who despite returning to the training pitch on Friday isn’t fit enough to make the squad.

For Barcelona, Jeremy Mathieu, Rafinha and Aleix Vidal are the early absentees. But the biggest question mark is over Neymar. If allowed to play, he will go directly in the starting XI without any questions. However, were he not to be allowed, it poses a question for Enrique to answer. Denis Suarez is one option to replace Neymar and he can do the job of working down the flanks too. But a strong candidate to start if Neymar doesn’t play is Paco Alcacer.

In his place, the two most ideal options are Asensio or Lucas Vazquez. Over the past few weeks, Asensio has become more of a choice for Zidane and is likely to start. In defense, Real Madrid would miss the services of Pepe who is injured and Raphael Varane who despite returning to the training pitch on Friday isn’t fit enough to make the squad.

For Barcelona, Jeremy Mathieu, Rafinha and Aleix Vidal are the early absentees. But the biggest question mark is over Neymar. If allowed to play, he will go directly in the starting XI without any questions. However, were he not to be allowed, it poses a question for Enrique to answer. Denis Suarez is one option to replace Neymar and he can do the job of working down the flanks too. But a strong candidate to start if Neymar doesn’t play is Paco Alcacer.

There have been many meetings between these two teams, but every Clásico is unique and special in its own way. That can only be intensified when it comes bang in the middle of the LaLiga title run in, with both teams sitting at the top of the table. Victory will see Real Madrid cement their lead, widening the deficit over Barcelona to six points (8:45pm CEST). With only a month to go until the end of the season, Zidane’s side could put themselves in an extremely favourable position, especially considering they have their postponed clash with Vigo still in hand.

Tonight, the footballing world will be watching the Santiago Bernabéu once again, with everything grinding to a halt for 90 minutes as attentions turn to one of the planet’s greatest sporting spectacles. The Whites’ stadium will undoubtedly conjure its famed atmosphere for the big occasion, as it gets behind Real Madrid in their quest for what could be a decisive victory. Team and fans alike will be hoping that the Clásico serves to extend their phenomenal 21-match unbeaten run at home in the league.

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