One of the biggest rivalries in sport is at hand again. Barcelona and Real Madrid are playing their third match since the summer break on Sunday October 7th at 7:50PM CET. The two teams are meeting at Camp Nou.
They are considered to be the best two teams in the world at the moment, and we are graced with the opportunity to see their clashes relatively often due to the fact that they play in the same national league. The previous Super Cup clash was won by Real Madrid from a two-game aggregate, and in their last league clash last season Real won 2-1. Still, Barcelona is considered to be the best team in the world today, and these numbers only show us that with these two teams everything is possible. That is why their encounters are so interesting. As for betting, the biggest betting houses give the advantage to Barcelona.
This season started not so well for Real Madrid. From the first six games they have only 10 points with three expected victories, a draw with Valencia at the beginning of the championship, and two losses against underdogs Getafe and fairly good Sevilla. Still, they are bringing their form up and playing better from game to game. Their final match was against Deportivo La Coruna and Real Madrid destroyed them 5-1. So they are dangerous. Plus, Luka Modric should have got used to the way things are in Real by now, so he should be a great help.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has been having a great start. Six matches, six victories, with almost three goals per match scored. They are topping the league table but their last match was against Sevilla and they won it in the last seconds luckily. If this was the beginning of the drop of form, or just well played match by pretty decent Sevilla, time will tell. Also, Puyol returned to the team following an injury which was thought to keep him out of the field for a lot longer (still it is not very likely that he will be in the first team squad on Sunday, and almost impossible to see him playing the whole match), while Pique is still out, which means that their defense is fairly vulnerable, especially against the fast dribblers that Real has.
All their encounters have a scent of war in them. The media up the pressure, the fans do their part in it, as well as the members of both teams. The previous years have given us some matches where the tensions were so high before the match itself, that when the first whistle came football was not the first thing on anyone’s mind. This shouldn’t be so this time. The season has just begun, Barcelona has 8 points to spare, but even Sergio Ramos said that the loss wouldn’t mean the end of the trophy ambitions, thus obviously lowering the tensions.
The players of both teams are just amazing. Most of them are capable of winning the match with their sheer skill, so the managers’ tactical approach is crucial. You never know what to expect from Mourinho, but a bit defensive play and high pressure on the ball should be expected, since he can not let Barca play their game. On the other hand, Barcelona cannot be defensive, first of all because of their style of play, and second of all because their defense is not good enough to fight off Real’s attacks for the entire match. So they will attack. Another point to go with this is that Barcelona scores many goals in the very beginnings of matches this season.
All this ensures an amazing match. The lack of unhealthy media war should turn everyone’s attention to football and rivalry. Whatever the final score, real football fans will have fun on Sunday.