This weekend will have a major impact on the La Liga title race. Real Madrid will have to travel to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona and try to maintain their slim margin at the top of La Liga.
Real Madrid are currently four points ahead of Barcelona, but have allowed the Catalan’s to get within striking range of stealing the title away. Even though Madrid has lost their sizable lead, four points is still a solid lead with five games remaining and a six goal-differential on Barcelona.
These two sides have already played each other five times this season. They met in the Super Cup at the beginning of the season, where the teams tied 2-2 in their first meeting and Barcelona won 3-2 in the second match-up. They then met in Madrid for La Liga, where Barcelona beat Madrid 3-1. Finally, they met up in the Copa del Rey, where Barcelona won the first leg match-up 2-1, and the teams tied the second leg match-up 2-2. So to say these two teams know each other pretty well would be an understatement. However, even with all these meetings, Real Madrid have had a difficult time finding a way to beat the Barcelona squad. They have come out and tried to defend and play on the counter and have also tried to come out strong and put Barcelona on the back foot from the beginning. None of these approaches have given Jose Mourinho the results his side have desperately wanted.
Because of Mourinho’s change in tactics from game to game, it is intriguing how Madrid will play this weekend. Will he be happy to let his team defend and possibly snatch a goal on a quick counter or will he want to be aggressive and widen the gap to seven points with a win, while giving his players confidence in their ability to finally beat Barcelona this season. This game is not only massive in terms of what will happen in La Liga, but also how this game will affect both teams Champions League matches. Real Madrid lost their first leg match to Bayern Munich 2-1, but were able to get a potentially massive away goal. Barcelona lost 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where they were unable to break down a solid Chelsea defense. Both teams, while concerned with the clasico this weekend, will also have one eye on their upcoming Champions League games. The result from the weekend could give the teams either confidence or concern going into their Champions League matches depending on the result.
This game is sure to be entertaining. With the exception of both teams Champions League match-ups, Real Madrid and Barcelona have been able to score quite a few goals during the course of the La Liga season. Madrid have scored 107 goals this season, while Barcelona have scored 96 goals. Therefore, it is unlikely this game will be a nil-nil draw and it should be a fun game to watch for fans. This game also features the two top goal-scorers in La Liga. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have 41 goals this season and have been scoring at will.
If you do not have any major plans this weekend, I would make sure to take the time to watch this match. Whenever these two teams meet, tempers flair and the intensity is high. You also get to see two of the best teams in the world compete head-to-head as well as two superstars compete. It is likely to be a great match so take the time to enjoy it.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
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