It is time for the most important match in club football, as Real Madrid goes to Catalunya to face longtime rivals FC Barcelona in the 'El Clasico.' This will be the first Clasico in the post-Messi era. Fans are eager to see how their teams play against one another, especially since both squads have undergone significant changes since last season.
As a result, Real Madrid are riding high after a 5-0 win in the Champions League over Shakhtar Donetsk in Kyiv, while Barcelona have bounced back with a 3-1 win over Valencia in LaLiga and a close 1-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League. After eight Matchdays in the league, Real Madrid appears to be a considerably stronger team than the seventh-placed Catalans.
Here are 3 keys to Real Madrid's victory in the Clasico:
1. Real Madrid must play purely attacking football
It's been a recurring theme, with even veteran players like Gerard Pique being taken aback by clever linkups by teams like Benfica. The defense has been a complete nightmare, that is the only way I can describe it.
Real Madrid, on the other side, are now playing some of their best attacking football in recent memory. The connections are quick and intelligent. Karim Benzema has been inventive and direct, with excellent off-the-ball movement to facilitate passing. Vinicius Junior has been in a league of his own, with no one able to keep up with him or stop him. He causes problems for anybody he plays against.
2. Real Madrid must stick to 4-3-3 formation
The first thing to remember about Carlo Ancelotti is that he needs to let go of his experiments. El Clasico isn't a game where you can afford to take chances. At a packed Camp Nou, there is no room for error, so he should field his men in Real Madrid's usual shape, a 4-3-3 formation that provides strong playing style, which Los Blancos have exploited in the recent seasons.
The impact of Real Madrid's 4-3-3 on the midfield is the second most crucial aspect of the formation. When Real's central midfielders play in a compact enough midfield three, they are at their best. One might recall the game against Espanyol, in which the greatest central midfielders of this generation were used extensively, reducing their effect throughout the game. Carlo Ancelotti must ensure that this does not happen again.
3. Real Madrid defenders must frustrate Barcelona attackers by denying them spaces
FC Barcelona haven't been scoring well lately, to say nothing of their nightmare defense. However, their few blockbuster goals have come as a result of individual brilliance from the teenage Ansu Fati, who now has two goals to his name in the league, both scored with thunderbolt smashes from the edge of the box.
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The objective is to limit space and maintain an effective press, which is something Real Madrid has struggled with. They're more concerned about outscoring the opponent than exhausting themselves with the high-intensity press.
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