Preview: Barcelona will want to bounce back after their mid-week defeat
It is not often that Barcelona lose, and when they do, fans will sit and pick apart that defeat, in order to figure out what caused it. The Blaugrana's mid-week match against Ajax did not go well, as the Spanish side came up short, but the defeat was well deserved.
That defeat can come as somewhat of a wake-up call for Tata Martino's men.
Preview: Another chance for Real to improve without Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo will not play, Ancelotti has confirmed. According to the Real Madrid manager, the Portuguese talisman has recovered from last weekend’s thigh injury against Almeria but remains uncomfortable. As a result, Angel Di Maria will be given a rare start in the starting XI. The Argentine winger is reportedly feeling ousted by impressive summer signing Gareth Bale.
In Ronaldo’s absence, Los Blancos will aim to build on the great performance they put in against Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League in midweek. Team effort, marked by the brilliance of Isco, Bale and Arbeloa, proved that Real Madrid have strength in depth and can cope without their number 7 superstar.
Preview: Los Blancos hunting for points in Andalusia
Almeria’s league form of late is rather remarkable with three successive wins to end a five-game losing streak which extended itself from September 24 to October 27. The fight for survival is already on for the Andalusia-based club. Competition is fierce with Rayo Vallecano, Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo all counting 12 points like Almeria after 13 games.
As the half-point of the Primera Division campaign draws closer, blunders become less tolerable. Francisco Rodriguez’s men have not conceded a goal in over 180 minutes and this encouraging record will be put to the test by Real Madrid’s flamboyant Ronaldo.
Preview: Injuries could play a big part in this match for the hosts
A number of injury concerns will have Tata Martino somewhat worried heading into Saturday's match against Granada. With eight players in doubt, at least four of them will definitely miss this match.
Lionel Messi is obviously the big name on that injury list, which is also made up of Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and most recently Victor Valdes. Along with those four top players, Martino could be without Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Xavi and Cristian Tello, who are all in doubt, but have yet to be ruled out for this weekend's match.
Having so many injuries could be problematic, but fortunately Barcelona has good enough talent on their bench who can fill in.
Preview: A battle of first against last
With the exception of Osasuna, no other team in La Liga has been able to steal points from the Blaugrana. 34 points from a possible 36 has Tata Martino's side top of the Spanish League, with a visit to Betis not looking like it will slow them down.
Getting the full three points will be vital for Barcelona. Although they have started in brilliant fashion, Atletico Madrid is right on their heals, with just one point separating the two clubs.
In contrast, Betis is last in La Liga, with only two victories from 12 matches. Both those victories came at home against Valencia and Villareal, but they have four losses and one draw from their last five in La Liga. Turning things around against Barcelona looks like it could be difficult, but their mid-week victory over Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League will have given them some added confidence.
Preview: A tricky test awaits Los Blancos at the Bernabeu
Real Sociedad put in quite a good show against Manchester United but came out with nothing more than a point from a goalless draw. With only one point in their group, they could still reach the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League Last 16 of the UEFA Europa League but this would require them to grab maximum points against Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk. At this point, it looks like La Real’s European adventure is coming to an end.
Manager Jagoba Arrasate will want his men to react to his predicted disappointment by getting a result on Saturday. However, the Santiago Bernabeu is a tough venue.
Preview: Flamboyant Blancos expected to improve at Vallecas
On his first full home debut for Los Blancos, Gareth Bale put in a great show with two goals and two assists. His partnership with Karim Benzema and the club’s fifth all-time goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo upfront was flawless, and led to Spanish paper MARCA branding the trio as ‘the perfect storm’.
It is this brilliance and fury in attack that Madridistas dream of witnessing week in, week out. The 10-goal thriller was a total spectacle but from Carlo Ancelotti’s point of view, it left quite a lot to worry about. If Real Madrid have found their foot upfront, the defence has many faults.
Preview: Distancing themselves is a main concern
Barcelona has started the current campaign in blistering form, having claimed 31 points from a possible 33. Their only letdown came in a scoreless draw away to Osasuna, but other than that match, Gerardo Martino's men have been brilliant.
With 10 victories already, the hosts will be going for their eleventh, while they also look to jump four points ahead of second placed Atletico Madrid.
Making matters worst for the visitors, they will be up against Barcelona's perfect record at home this season (5-0-0), and their 20 goals scored and only five conceded. But in Espanyol's defense, the Blaugrana have only managed one cleansheet at home, which was their opening day match against Levante, which ended in a 7-0 thumping.
Preview: Cristiano Ronaldo and annoyed Real Madrid under the spotlight
Since defeating Juventus in the UEFA Champions League last week, Real Madrid have made more impact in the media than on the pitch. Questionable tactics by Carlo Ancelotti saw Gerardo Martino’s Barcelona claim a 2-1 win at the Camp Nou on Matchday 10 of the league.
The game produced a number of controversial moments against both teams and post-match discussions had Madrid complaining. During the game, Portuguese attacker Cristiano Ronaldo was flashed a yellow card for bitterly criticizing the referee. This week, a video of Sepp Blatter making a joke about Ronaldo went viral. The club eventually demanded an apology from the FIFA President.
Preview: Barca poised to extend unbeaten run to 11 games in the League
The Blaugrana have only once dropped points in the league this season in a 0-0 draw against Osasuna. In their last outing the defending champions scored a comprehensive victory over rivals Real Madrid in a match Gerardo Martino’s men dominated.
Even though there were some decisions which went Barca’s way, it was for all to see that the residents of Camp Nou were the deserved winners. Barcelona’s Argentinean coach Gerardo Martino has turned out to be some coup for the Spanish champions. The 50 year old apart from being excellent at man management has also proven to be an astute tactician.
It is interesting to know that the Catalans, who have been tagged as favourites ahead of Saturday’s clash, have not beaten Real Madrid in 429 days. Indeed, under Jose Mourinho, the gap between these two Spanish rivals greatly reduced. The last five results between the pair are as follows:
With another El Clasico upon us, we will take a look at some facts that stick out between Ronaldo and Messi. The two stars have made a significant impact on the El Clasico over the years, and the upcoming match will likely be no different.
From scoring goals to getting their teammates involved, their performances will always influence the final result.
1) Consistently Playing
It is not often that you see either player not finish any match, especially when it comes to El Clasico. For Lionel Messi, he has only not played the full 90 minutes against Real Madrid on one occasion. That match came in his first meeting with the Merengues during the 05/06 campaign, when he was subbed off in the 70th minute. The Blaugrana won that match 0-3.
Barca’s winless streak in El Clasico
As the calendar confirms it, Saturday will mark 429 days since the Blaugrana last defeated their eternal rivals, Los Blancos. One must roll back the time to August 23 last year to re-live Barca’s latest victory. It occurred in the first leg of the 2012 Supercopa de Espana at the Camp Nou with the hosts winning 3-2.
The game was marked with a terrible blunder by goalkeeper Victor Valdes which allowed Argentine winger Angel Di Maria to reduce Real Madrid’s deficit. That goal proved vital as the Spanish giants, then managed by Jose Mourinho, beat the Catalans 4-4 on aggregate thanks to the away goals rule to lift the Spanish Super Cup.
Will 26 October 2013 mark the end of Barcelona’s five-match winless streak against Real Madrid?
beIN Sport to broadcast El Clasico to USA viewers on October 26, 2013
On October 7, the LFP announced the timing of this huge rivalry match set to take place at the Camp Nou. LFP president Javier Tebas confirmed the 18:00 local time which is a result of marketing factors. La Liga has a huge amount of followers in Asia and America and the decision was made to attract the largest viewing figures possible for this Barcelona vs Real Madrid fixture on 26 October 2013.
It will be the 166th El Clasico in the history of the Spanish La Liga. Current head-to-head results put the Spanish giants on top of the Cules with 70 wins – six more than Barca – with the other 32 games ending all square.
In terms of goals, the Catalans have progressively been closing the gap during the last few years. They have scored 259 goals in El Clasico in La Liga, only 11 less than Real Madrid. Gerardo Martino will be looking to offer the club’s fans their 48th Primera Division home win over Real Madrid at the Camp Nou come October 26, 2013.
The marquee signings
La Liga’s two most expensive signings in the 2013 summer transfer window will go head to head as Barcelona take on Real Madrid for the first time this season. The two were the talk of the summer as Gareth Bale and Neymar finalised their big money moves to Spain.
However life in the Iberian country has begun in contrasting fashion for both individuals. In case of the Brazilian, the mercurial number 11 continued from where he left off and after an inspirational display for his national side in the Confederations Cup, Neymar has continued his brilliant form with his new club.
What’s more, El Clasico will be telecast free of charge on COMCAST! The game will be called in Spanish but if you need English commentary, use the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) feature.
Expert beIN Sport en Español pundits will offer exciting pre-match and post-match analysis of this encounter which will be staged at the Camp Nou, in Catalonia. Barca-Real Madrid will also be broadcast live on beIN Sport.
Stay tuned to the best coverage with additional programs such as “El Clasico: Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo,” and “Nueva Temporada, Misma Rivalidad 2013.”
Barcelona vs Real Madrid kicks off at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm ET this Saturday. LiveSoccerTV will bring you live scores as events unfold at the Camp Nou.
- Check out the XFINITY Latino Entertainment Channel page.
Preview: Barcelona wants to set the tone for the upcoming El Classico
Gerardo Martino's side is starting to get somewhat healthier, and it could not have come at a better time. As the Catalans prepare to take on Osasuna at El Sadar, they will likely be thinking of their upcoming matches against AC Milan and Real Madrid.
El Classico always generates plenty of hype and media attention, but if Barcelona is able to defeat Osasuna, they will head into the match against Madrid with the chance of surpassing their record of a nine match win streak.
What a better way to set a record, than against your rival, and on your home turf?
Preview: Former Real Madrid boss Schuster leads Malaga plot
Malaga have drawn their last three away games while they are yet to beat Real Madrid in the Spanish capital. History is not on Malaga’s side and this explains why Saturday’s visitors at the Bernabeu are so willing to get a result. Captain Weligton spoke to the Spanish press, saying:
“I believe we can win points in Madrid. I've almost won there twice already and I want it to be third time lucky.”
It could be a good time for Los Boquerones to fulfil their dream, since Real Madrid have hardly been convincing in their last three matches in La Liga. Controversy played a huge role in their 2-1 triumph against Elche before their trip to Levante where they snatched a dramatic 3-2 win.
Preview: Martino's undefeated Barcelona look to continue great streak
When Gerardo Martino was appointed manager of Barcelona, there were a number of question marks floating around the Nou Camp. Was he good enough? Without any European Football experience, would he struggle with the pressure?
The truth is that Tata Martino not only has silenced the critics, but he is also on the way to potentially breaking a record currently held by Real Madrid.
Having won nine successive matches, Real Madrid currently holds the record. Interestingly enough, if Barcelona was to break that record, they would have to do it against Real Madrid in three weeks time. But before they worry about that, they will need to focus on their match against Valladolid, who has only one victory in seven matches.
Preview: Levante’s ground another tough venue for Los Blancos
The most popular Real Madrid footballer right now must Angel Di Maria. His rabona assist to Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal and his overall performance against Copenhagen has won him a lot of respect.
The Argentine is battling for regular playing time under Carlo Ancelotti but the presence of Gareth Bale means the fight will go on for long. Such competition could be healthy for the squad. The coach should be confident that Di Maria will put on a great show on the flanks anytime he gets called up.