Live streaming laliga ,match today. Barcelona vs Real Madrid. its a El Clasico match.
Real Madrid forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are both “100%” ready to play in El Clasico against Barcelona after fitness problems, says boss Zinedine Zidane. Fourth-placed Real are 11 points behind unbeaten league leaders Barcelona.
Ronaldo worked alone earlier this week, with a calf knock, but trained properly on Friday – while Bale is recovering from a calf problem.
“He’s OK. He’s 100%. He’s trained today,” Zidane said of Ronaldo.
Bale has not played in La Liga since September, but featured twice off the bench in the recent Club World Cup, which Real won.
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“I’ll not choose a player because I want him to play in a Clasico,” said Zidane. “I trust my players and they can get injured, but the important thing is that I think he is 100% to play. We’ll see if he plays or not tomorrow.”
Barca have not lost a league game this season under coach Ernesto Valverde, who said: “I don’t think we are favourites, the league table has no influence on games like this because of the tension there always is.
“Madrid are such a powerful team that they can strike you down even when you’re in your best moment of form. Also, they will be at home.”
Zidane does not think a defeat ends his side’s hopes of defending their title: “We have to not think about the difference in points. I don’t think it’s a decisive match in terms of the league.
“You have to think positively. We’re very good and better in each area of the field. Even if we lose, the league will not be over.”
Zidane’s Real Madrid were favourites to win La Liga this season, having won last season’s Spanish title – as well as two Champions Leagues in a row.
But they have struggled this season – arguably after losing some of their squad members in the summer like Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez, Danilo and Pepe.
They have won the Spanish Super Cup (against Barca), the Uefa Super Cup (against Manchester United) and the World Club Cup final (against Gremio). They are still in the Copa del Rey and Champions League, where they finished second to Tottenham in Group H.
Barcelona, on the other hand, have enjoyed a great season since Valverde replaced Luis Enrique in the summer. They are yet to lose a La Liga game since his appointment, winning 13 and drawing three to sit six points above second-placed Atletico Madrid going into the weekend’s games.
Their only two defeats were the first two games of the season, against Real in the Spanish Super Cup. They are also unbeaten in the Champions League, finishing top of Group D above Juventus, and are still in the Copa del Rey.
Real one win off emulating 1970s – Clasico stats
- Real Madrid have won the last two Clasicos, both in this year’s Spanish Super Cup (3-1 at Nou Camp and 2-0 at Bernabeu). The last time Real Madrid won three consecutive matches against Barcelona in all competitions was in 1978.
- Zidane could become the first Real Madrid coach to win three consecutive Clasicos since Alfredo di Stefano, (four between 1983 and 1990 over two eras).
- Ernesto Valverde has lost each of his two competitive Clasicos as a coach and could become the second Barcelona manager to lose his first three (Patrick O’Connell in 1940, four straight defeats).
- Ronaldo has scored 17 goals against Barcelona in all competitions since he joined Real Madrid and could equal Di Stefano as the all-time top Real Madrid scorer in El Clasico history (18).
- Lionel Messi is the top scorer in El Clasico history in all competitions (24 goals), in La Liga (16) and at the Bernabeu (14).
- Real Madrid are 11 points behind Barcelona – this is the biggest points difference for the first league meeting between the two sides since three points were awarded for a win in 1995-96
‘Impossible to get more ingredients in a sports event’
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon, who was in the role from 2006 to 2009, told BBC World Service: “It’s no doubt one of the most important [Clasicos of recent years]. It’s more important for us than Barcelona. If they get a positive result, it will be really difficult to catch them.
“I had the same situation in 2007 when Barcelona were a few points ahead with 10 matches left – we managed to overcome that and win the title. It’s very difficult.
“It’s one of the best matches that can be watched in the world, with 22 incredible players and the top two among them. There’s a lot of excitement and passion from the stands with hundreds of millions watching around the world. It’s impossible to get more ingredients in a sports event.”
Asked if Zidane could be under pressure with a big defeat, Calderon said: “Every coach is under pressure here on this bench. Only one coach in 48 years has been more than three years on that bench. I hope not. He did a fantastic job in the last two years with two Champions Leagues in a row, something nobody did before.
“But it’s true this club is very special, very difficult if the team doesn’t win the titles and matches fans expect to.”
But he added: “It’s too early, I don’t think the pressure will decide that now.”
Is time running out for Bale at Real?
Counting against Bale is a recent change of formation, with Zidane largely abandoning the 4-3-3 formation in which the Welshman lined up alongside Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.
He now prefers a 4-4-2 containing a narrow midfield diamond, with Brazilian enforcer Casemiro flanked by playmakers Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, and Isco’s creative skills at the tip.
There’s no obvious place for Bale in that set-up, with his athletic abilities more suited to the bigger spaces available in the wide positions which are occupied by full-backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo.
BBC Euro Leagues Football Show analysis
European football journalist Raphael Honigstein
You talk about Real Madrid being improved, but that third goal against Deportivo on Sunday was Barcelona how we used to know and love them. It was unbelievable. If they’re coming into form now, this is going to be very tough for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid have a structure under Zinedine Zidane that other coaches weren’t able to do, as it’s pragmatic in big games. Other coaches would have had Florentino Perez in their ear saying ‘you have to play more strikers and more attacking midfielders, this isn’t the Real Madrid way’. But Zidane is Zidane – so he can do whatever he wants. So if he thinks Casemiro is the most important man on the pitch, then he will always play.
They’ve got a chance, but Barcelona’s passing and rhythm that they have lost the last couple of years, suddenly it’s back. It will be tough.
European football journalist Julien Laurens
Real Madrid made history after two Champions Leagues in a row. They won five trophies in a calendar year, which nobody had ever done. Well done to them.
Now they’ve got their biggest game of the season – much bigger than Gremio or Al Jazira [in the Club World Cup]. El Clasico is huge because since 2012-13, they were never so many points behind Barcelona coming into this game, 11 points now. It was 16 then.
It’s a huge game for them. They look better, they played better. They’re on a good run now and need to show it on Saturday.
I think it will be a draw, I don’t think Real Madrid will lose at home.