The much anticipated first El Clasico of the season is finally here.These are some of the the main talking points ahead of the clash pitting Two of Spain's Best clubs.
Any Clasico comes with a sense of anticipation, and importance and Saturdays League Match promises to be explosive with the two teams in Superb form.
However in these games, the form book goes out of the proverbial window. A look at some of the talking points ahead of this game.
1. Luis Suarez debut
However controversial his character few can doubt his talent. Back after serving his suspension due to his world cup bite, all eyes will be on him as he seeks to make his debut. Fellow players have gloated about his professionalism and intensity in training in recent weeks .
He may however have to make do with a place on the bench and come on later . However if the partnership of Messi , Neymar and Suarez can work without affecting the stability of the team then they will be a joy to watch.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi
Pele or Maradona? Who is the greatest of these two, has always been a subject of great controversy! Likewise in recent times, Messi or Ronaldo has strongly divided opinions and with Saturdays clash it is not any different . With both players coming out and speaking in favor of team effort rather personal duels, few will buy into their thinking with a loss for either going more into fueling the debate. Cristiano is presently in the best form of his life averaging two goals a game this season while messi's evolution under coach Luis Enrique has seen him turn into more complete player while still maintaining his scoring touch. He however will be seeking to be the all-time top scorer in La Liga and where better to break or equal this record than at the hostile environs of Santiago Bernabeu.However this is a debate that will not just go away.
3. Barcelona Defence
Barcelona have not conceded a goal in La Liga in the past seven matches. Saturdays match will be the leagues meanest defence against the best striking force in Europe. Real Madrid have scored an astonishing 35 goals in 7 matches ,an average of 5 goals a game.Carlo Ancelotti has finally found the balance that was seriously lacking at the start of the season. What is for sure is that the game will not be finish scoreless . The manner of Barcelona's loss at PSG in the champions league would highly interest Madrid since two of those goals were scored from set pieces. However formidable they have looked using the direct approach favored by Luis Enrique , one feels that they are no longer invincible and a rampant Real side can expose such weakness.
4. Iker Casillas Redemption
The Long serving Captain may finally be turning the corner after his woeful start to the season that led him to be dropped for Spain's Euro qualifiers.However the ultimate test awaits him in the El Clasico and his performance may determine the result of the game.His confidence seems to be slowly creeping back and he will need to be in top form to stop a messi led attack.
Match Prediction; Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
With Barcelona's lead of four points at top of the table, it would be suicidal for Real Madrid to get away with nothing from this match. However with both Barcelona and Real Madrid currently on top form i will go with a narrow 2-1 win for Real Madrid with Messi scoring the consolation.