Barcelona – Real Madrid in El Clasico should be appointment viewing on Saturday (start time, 10am ET) as both teams work through struggles early in the season.
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UPDATE: It is 1-1 at half time as Federico Valverde put Real 1-0 up, but Ansu Fait (just 17 years old) became the youngest scorer in El Clasico history.
Ronald Koeman has tried his best to revamp Barcelona and Lionel Messi looks happier than he did, but they lost to Getafe last time out in La Liga.
Real Madrid lost 3-2 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League in midweek in a shock result for Zinedine Zidane, and Los Blancos lost to Cadiz last weekend too.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know of what promises to be a, erm, classic, El Clasico.
Team news for Real Madrid – Barcelona
Barcelona will be without goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen through a knee injury, while Jordi Alba returns at left back and USMNT star Sergino Dest switches to right bakc. Dest becomes the first USMNT player in history to play in El Clasico. Antoine Griezmann is on the bench, again, for Barca.
𝓔𝓵 𝓒𝓵𝓪𝓼𝓲𝓬𝓸 𝓛𝓲𝓷𝓮𝓾𝓹 pic.twitter.com/8tRIJ4i5cs
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 24, 2020
Real Madrid start Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. after they were Tuesday against Shakhtar Donetsk, while Sergio Ramos is back after missing the shock defeat to Shakhtar through suspension (*huge gasps of shock*). Eden Hazard is still out through injury, plus Luka Modric drops to the bench.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 24, 2020
What they’re saying
Ronald Koeman on Lionel Messi and his displays: “I don’t have any complaints or doubts about his effort. Right now his performances could be better. On a day-to-day basis, he’s happy and wants to play and be the team’s captain.”
Zinedine Zidane on the pressure building on him: “It certainly does not help but in the end no one will change that. It is the situation of football, it is like that. I’m the manager and when things don’t work out, it’s normal that there are critics. Now what I have to do is find the solution to be able to change this quickly.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Barcelona (+105) are the favorites over Real Madrid (+250), while the draw is +260.
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Prediction for Barcelona – Real Madrid
I’m going to sit firmly on the fence here and predict a draw. With both managers under pressure early in the season, their players will be keen to not make the mistake which puts them further in the mire. Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid.