Barcelona and Real Madrid will measure their forces this Sunday at the Camp Nou in a duel with different objectives, but in which the League is going for both of them. For the culés it could be the definitive match, the one that allows them to deliver the coup de grace to their eternal rival, taking them away by 12 points and practically sealing a championship in which they have had an immaculate career, while for the meringues it is just the opposite. The whites arrive at the meeting aware that it is the last bullet they keep in the chamber and that only a victory in hostile territory would serve to reopen a fight for the title from which they are now off the hook. It is an all or nothing, a true final for the League.
“A great opportunity”, this is how Laporta defined this Friday on the culé club’s social networks what this classic means for Barcelona. The Barça president made an appeal to the fans in which he could not have been more accurate. The derby is an opportunity in many ways. It is to park for 90 minutes the earthquake that the ‘Negreira case’ has caused in the entire orbit of the entity, it is to relive a magical night at the Camp Nou against the eternal rival, which is missing, and it is , above all, because the opportunity to leave the League almost closed is at stake. Barça have in their hands the possibility of leaving four games behind the second place with twelve games to go, a practically insurmountable distance and the closest way to return to being among the greatest, that goal that Xavi longed for so much when he returned to the club of their life.
With that opportunity flying over the atmosphere, a Barcelona will come to the Camp Nou that arrives at the event transformed into Mr Hyde. The culés have revamped their style, they have mutated into a team that adapts to all the circumstances of the game and that is no longer afraid of ‘unocerismo’. Barça this year varies the tactical drawing at the whim of its coach and that is precisely the great unknown in the Barça team that will play the classic that it plays. Xavi could bet on the 4-4-2 that gave him such a good result at the Santiago Bernabéu in the Copa del Rey in a gray but efficient duel or return to the 4-3-3 that he used, without going any further, in the last League match against Athletic. Regardless of the model, Barça will have to face the event without two of its key players. Pedri and Dembélé will not be there due to injury, whose places in the eleven could be occupied by Kessié and Raphinha, but Lewandowski will be, who returns to the classic with the aim of finally being decisive on a big stage.
the last white bullet
Opposite will be a rival who gambles practically all his league options in 90 minutes. Real Madrid’s path to the title inevitably involves closing the gap on their eternal rival at the Camp Nou and waiting from there until the end of the season for Xavi’s men to slow down and drop points. There is no other way and it is, therefore, a final for survival for a team that has begun to see Barcelona with different eyes in recent games. The whites fell in the classic of the Spanish Super Cup (1-3) and repeated in the Copa del Rey duel (0-1) just over two weeks ago. That will be the first enemy that Ancelotti’s men face, who will have to overcome the ghost of measuring themselves against a team that in recent clashes seems to have taken their measure.
To do this, Ancelotti already assured this Saturday at a press conference that he will put all the meat on the grill to be an offensive team. Real Madrid needs the three points and that is what the Italian coach clings to, who will be able to count on all his troops except for the injured David Alaba. The Austrian will be the only absence in an eleven in which Camavinga could once again have minutes together with Kroos and Modric in the midfield, in which Karim Benzemá will start after leaving behind his physical problems and in which Vinicius’s position will be the big unknown The Brazilian could get rid of Araujo’s marking and go to the right-handed profile, an option that Ancelotti “is thinking about” and that would serve to free the fittest footballer of the whites from his kryptonite.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Araujo, Koundé, Christensen, Balde, Busquets, De Jong, Kessié, Gavi, Raphinha and Lewandowski.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Rüdiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Benzema and Vinicius.
Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea (Bizkaia Committee).
Time: 9:00 p.m. Camp Nou.
TV: Movistar La Liga.
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