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Barcelona v Real Madrid: Match Preview - New kids on the block could decide El Clasico

By: All Blue Daze Updated 24 Oct 2013 10:12:51

Barcelona v Real Madrid: Match Preview - New kids on the block could decide El Clasico

El Clasico looms on the horizon for the big two in Spain on the weekend. These games are always atmospheric, and often provide a gladiatorial atmosphere for the players, and this one is likely to be no exception. In a constellation of stars, both teams have an established team leader, and an aspiring newcomer, and the fate of the game may well be decided by which of these two pairs performs the better. Recent games between the two have seen battles between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the deciding factors of games; whichever of the two best players in the world wins ascendancy has settled the issue. Both Ronaldo and Messi netted for their clubs in midweek Champions’ League games against Italian opposition. This weekend’s game however, may hinge on the expensive new recruits, and which of them can step up to the plate.

After his protracted transfer saga over the summer, this game will be the very essence of the reason – aside from the undoubted increase in salary – that Gareth Bale fought so hard to join Real Madrid. To play in a match-up between two of Europe’s biggest clubs, and be on the same pitch as the two outstanding players of the generation is a ‘Boy’s Own’ experience for any young player, and as the most expensive – or second most expensive if you choose to take on board the ‘Ronaldo-ego-massaging spin put on the deal by Madrid – Bale has every right to be there. The Welshman has yet to ignite his career at the Bernabeu into full flame, but a virtuoso performance at the home of Madrid’s bitterest rivals, with all of the political back play apparent, would go a long way to making endearing him to both club and fans.

I couple of weeks ago, I travelled to Barcelona to see Neymar play in the flesh, as it were. In fairness, the idea was to see Messi play again, but as the little Maestro was injured, the Brazilian tyro was required to step up. There’s a real comparison between Bale and Neymar, as the weapons they have at their disposal are so different. Whilst Bale is all pace and athleticism, very much in the same vein as Ronaldo, with a free kick that would also rival the Portuguese’s expertise, Neymar’s game is built on guile, evasiveness and the ability to glide past players. Watching the Brazilian for a full ninety minutes or so, it was interesting to note that he rarely dribbled past people, his method is more to run around them with a shimmy and a change of pace, that often leads to the rash tackle and flow of free kicks that he accrues.

Real Madrid currently lie three points adrift of the Blaugrana, and a defeat at the Camp Nou would double that, with the gap then beginning to assume major proportions. It is therefore important to Carlo Ancelotti’s ram that they do not succumb. Given the make-up of the teams, it appears likely that the pace of Ronaldo and Bale will be deployed in the areas behind the rampaging Barca full backs, unless this is curbed by Martino. It’s ploy that has a decent success rate for playing against the Catlans. It’s likely that attack will be the home team’s mantra, whilst counter-attack will form Madrid’s plan.

The outcome of these games is so difficult to call. The assembled talent on show, much of which is not mentioned here, means that the result can be decided with an incandescent moment of brilliance from anyone of a dozen or so players. That said, with home advantage, and the need to satisfy the home fans’ voracious desire to defeat Madrid, I take Barca to come out with narrow win, say 2-0 or 2-1.El Clasico looms on the horizon for the big two in Spain on the weekend. These games are always atmospheric, and often provide a gladiatorial atmosphere for the players, and this one is likely to be no exception. In a constellation of stars, both teams have an established team leader, and an aspiring newcomer, and the fate of the game may well be decided by which of these two pairs performs the better. Recent games between the two have seen battles between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the deciding factors of games; whichever of the two best players in the world wins ascendancy has settled the issue. Both Ronaldo and Messi netted for their clubs in midweek Champions’ League games against Italian opposition. This weekend’s game however, may hinge on the expensive new recruits, and which of them can step up to the plate.

After his protracted transfer saga over the summer, this game will be the very essence of the reason – aside from the undoubted increase in salary – that Gareth Bale fought so hard to join Real Madrid. To play in a match-up between two of Europe’s biggest clubs, and be on the same pitch as the two outstanding players of the generation is a ‘Boy’s Own’ experience for any young player, and as the most expensive – or second most expensive if you choose to take on board the ‘Ronaldo-ego-massaging spin put on the deal by Madrid – Bale has every right to be there. The Welshman has yet to ignite his career at the Bernabeu into full flame, but a virtuoso performance at the home of Madrid’s bitterest rivals, with all of the political back play apparent, would go a long way to making endearing him to both club and fans.

I couple of weeks ago, I travelled to Barcelona to see Neymar play in the flesh, as it were. In fairness, the idea was to see Messi play again, but as the little Maestro was injured, the Brazilian tyro was required to step up. There’s a real comparison between Bale and Neymar, as the weapons they have at their disposal are so different. Whilst Bale is all pace and athleticism, very much in the same vein as Ronaldo, with a free kick that would also rival the Portuguese’s expertise, Neymar’s game is built on guile, evasiveness and the ability to glide past players. Watching the Brazilian for a full ninety minutes or so, it was interesting to note that he rarely dribbled past people, his method is more to run around them with a shimmy and a change of pace, that often leads to the rash tackle and flow of free kicks that he accrues.

Real Madrid currently lie three points adrift of the Blaugrana, and a defeat at the Camp Nou would double that, with the gap then beginning to assume major proportions. It is therefore important to Carlo Ancelotti’s ram that they do not succumb. Given the make-up of the teams, it appears likely that the pace of Ronaldo and Bale will be deployed in the areas behind the rampaging Barca full backs, unless this is curbed by Martino. It’s ploy that has a decent success rate for playing against the Catlans. It’s likely that attack will be the home team’s mantra, whilst counter-attack will form Madrid’s plan.

The outcome of these games is so difficult to call. The assembled talent on show, much of which is not mentioned here, means that the result can be decided with an incandescent moment of brilliance from anyone of a dozen or so players. That said, with home advantage, and the need to satisfy the home fans’ voracious desire to defeat Madrid, I take Barca to come out with narrow win, say 2-0 or 2-1.

 


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