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October 28th, 2023

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El Clásico: things to look out for in this legendary clash 🔥

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will go at it this Saturday 28/10 at 16:15. The outcome of the most eagerly awaited match on the planet is more unpredictable than ever. Which factors will tip the scales? Here’s a threefold answer. 

1.  Araujo rather than Cancelo to contain Vinicius Jr.? 

According to several daily newspapers, the 2010 world champion could once again include Araujo in his starting eleven and place him as right-back to try and counter Vini’s onslaughts throughout the match. That’s a risk Xavi is ready to take, and it would mean a repositioning for Cancelo, who has been stellar in his offensive counterattacks since the start of the season, thus playing a more axial role in midfield. 

The duel between the Uruguayan and the Brazilian will no doubt have a an impact on the match. That’s why Xavi will probably rather put his trust in Araujo’s Clásico experience, knowing that he has caused some problems for Vinicius in previous clashes. The Spanish coach will nonetheless try to put up a smokescreen for as long as he can to surprise the Merengues. Are we in for a surprise?

2.  Controlling the midfield 

Here’s another crucial factor! Both teams’ DNA relies on ball control and possession, but who will have the last word in the midfield battle? 

If the presence of Gavi and Gündoğan is pretty much a given, what about the return of Dutchman Frenkie De Jong, whose absence is costing the Catalan team a lot?

For Real, Ancelotti is being spoiled for choice. Will he bank on youth or experience?

3.  Composure in front of the goal

If there is one return that’s more likely than any other, it’s definitely that of Robert Lewandowski, who suffered an ankle injury on 4 October. The Pole wouldn’t want to miss this clash for anything in the world and remains the safest bet in attack.  

A far as the Merengues are concerned, J. Bellingham simply won’t stop scoring and Barça will be waiting for him to trip up. Will he manage to smash the nets to give his team the 3 points? Tune in this Saturday at 16:15 to find out.

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