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El Clasico: Will Real's defense stop Messi and Co?

El Clasico: Will Messi and Co. tear apart Real Madrid's improved defense?

December 17, 2019 By Ali M.
The league's best attack will lock horns with the league's second-best defense in Wednesday's highly-anticipated game.

El Clasico is quickly approaching, with Barcelona gearing up to take on Real Madrid in Wednesday’s highly-anticipated showdown. While the Blaugrana have been struggling defensively throughout this season, conceding the most goals from all the top six clubs, but the same isn’t true for Los Blancos.

Zidane’s side has had their issues but the club have all but rectified their defensive instabilities. Ramos and Co. have conceded only three goals in their last seven league games and boast the joint-second best defense, letting in only 12 goals all season – level with Athletic Club but two more than Atletico Madrid.

But can Messi and Co. tear their wall down? This is the unstoppable force paradox – the old question of what will happen when an unstoppable object meets an immovable object – for one big reason. Barcelona are the best attacking side in the league and by a mile.

The reigning champions have netted a whopping 43 times this season. Real Madrid are second in this category but they have 10 fewer goals than their Clasico rivals, scoring 33 goals. The reason for this is obvious. 

The Pichichi race is currently in a two-way tie between Messi and Benzema at 12 goals each but Barcelona have goalscorers elsewhere in their squad while Zidane lacks exactly that. Take one look at the goalscorers chart: Valverde has three players in the top 10 scorers in the form of Leo (12), Luis Suarez (9), and Griezmann (6). Los Blancos’ second-leading scorer in the league this season is Sergio Ramos with three strikes.

This will be the biggest concern for Zidane, as goals can come from many directions when it comes to the Catalan giants. However, as Messi pointed out in an interview with Marca, Real Madrid tend to be more compact and disciplined when playing at the Camp Nou, This is why the Blaugrana have won only one of their last four home Clasicos but have won all but one of the last seven away editions.

"When we play at the Bernabeu, many more spaces are generated," Leo said.

"They attack us more because they have the obligation as the host team and people push them for that.

"At the Camp Nou, they play another type of match, sitting a little further back, they are closer together and hit on the counter-attack because they have very fast players up front.

"At the Bernabeu, we play 90 minutes equally. Here the game becomes more locked and is more complicated."

Then there is Zizou’s record at the Blaugrana’s stadium. The French tactician has never lost an away game in El Clasico, winning twice and drawing three times at Camp Nou. We can thus safely say breaking down Ramos and Co. won’t be an easy task but it is one Messi and Co. will grab by the horns.

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Barcelona 0 - 0 Real Madrid

December 18, 2019 2:00pmCamp Nou (Barcelona)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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