The 243rd Clásico looms on the horizon as Barcelona and Real Madrid prepare to lock horns.
Barcelona head into the game two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga table. After a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou in the first Clásico of the season, both sides will be eager to pick up a win and take hold of La Liga as the season enters its final months.
Where to watch Real Madrid v Barcelona on TV:
- UK: La Liga TV (Sky Channel 435)
- US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream the first Clasico of 2020:
- UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Real Madrid vs Barcelona live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- ‘Join now’ and enter details.
- Log in and fund the new account.
- Pick the desired event from among the ‘live now’ or ‘schedule’ sections in Bet365’s ‘live streaming’ category.
*Geo restrictions apply, 18+ only, must have a funded account, BeGambleAware.
- US: beIN SPORTS CONNECT
The tactical knock-on effects of Hazard’s ‘season-ending’ injury
Eden Hazard was shaping up for his first Clásico appearance having missed the Camp Nou date through injury. Unfortunately for the Belgian, injury has struck again and a broken ankle could rule Hazard out for the season.
This potentially opens up the door for Gareth Bale to start the Clásico, although he will likely face competition from Vinicius Junior or even Lucas Vázquez to fill that third forward slot. There is a chance Bale could start with one of the other wingers, but it’s unlikely that Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane will drop Isco given his qualities on the ball and big-game temperament.
For Bale, this is a huge chance. The Welsh winger has been on the outs with Zidane all season but a good Clásico performance could heal the divide between them and allow Real Madrid’s number 11 to play a big role as Madrid challenge for La Liga and the Champions League.
Antoine Griezmann’s big chance
Real Madrid are one of Antoine Griezmann‘s favourite opponents to score against. Griezmann has scored eight goals against Los Blancos and only against Celta Vigo and Rayo Vallecano (9 goals for each) does he have a better record.
With Luis Suárez a long-term injury doubt, Griezmann has a huge chance to really cement his status as a Barcelona player. He has played well so far, showing his skills and work ethic, but fans will want more from a €120m-rated forward and the Clásico provides an excellent chance for him to deliver more.
Griezmann flattered to deceive in the December Clásico, but now he is in good form and will be determined to make a difference. As Suárez and Neymar (and Jeffren!) will attest, scoring against Real Madrid is a shortcut to becoming a fan favourite.
Real Madrid need the win more, but Barcelona look set to get better and better under Setien
La Liga 2019/20 table top-six standings and recent form (after gameweek 25)
- Barcelona (55pts): WWWWL
- Real Madrid (53pts): LDWWW
- Atletico Madrid (43pts): WDWLD
- Sevilla (43pts): WDLDW
- Getafe (42pts): LLWWW
- Real Sociedad (40pts): WWLWL
After a home draw against Celta and an away defeat to Levante, Real Madrid find themselves needing the win more than Barcelona. Barca‘s revival under Quique Setién has seen them win five of the six La Liga games played their new manager.
Barcelona are improving game by game under Setién. They have returned to their roots and the so-called ‘tiki-taka’ style is seeing performances from every player improve. An injury crisis up-front could have been a problem but the emergency transfer signing of Martin Braithwaite will provide pace and thrust in attack.
Barca have won the last four La Liga Clásicos at the Santiago Bernabeu, and if they can make that five wins in a row against Real Madrid, they will move five points clear at the top of La Liga. They would also hold the head-to-head advantage over their rivals that would effectively give them a six-point lead and a huge chance to win a third-straight La Liga title.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona combined XI (on fitness & current form):
With Real Madrid’s impeccable defensive record, Thibaut Courtois has to get in (11 clean sheets). Dani Carvajal’s consistency beats out the Roberto-Semedo quandary. Jordi Alba would usually get the left-back slot but injury has meant that Ferland Mendy slides in there.
In the middle of defence, Raphael Varane is the standout centre-back on either squad, returning to his peak form following a down year in 2018/19. Gerard Piqué is alongside him, as the big Spaniard has been holding together the Barcelona back-line through sheer force of will and without him it would have collapsed entirely.
In midfield you have arguably three of the four best midfielders in La Liga this season. Casemiro has been back to his tackle-happy best, Sergio Busquets has de-aged about four years under Quique Setién and is now thriving while Toni Kroos is smooth as hell and a key part of Real Madrid’s (limited) attacking prowess.
In attack, we have Karim Benzema in the middle of a goalscoring renaissance and Antoine Griezmann finally thriving in a more central role. Griezmann has scored the opening goal in matches seven times, only Benzema (9) beats him in this respect, which is impressive given that Griezmann spent the first chunk of the season playing wing-back under Ernesto Valverde. And then there’s Leo Messi, of course. More goals (18) and assists (12) than anyone else, despite missing the start of the season through injury.
Disagree with the line-up above? Let us know how your own Real Madrid-Barcelona combined XI would look in the comments section below.