• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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El Clasico: Can Real Madrid end Barcelona’s unbeaten run?

El Clasico

There will be fireworks in Spain as the first El Clasico of the season takes place on Saturday as La Liga champions Barcelona battle archrivals Real Madrid in one of the most iconic games in football history at Estadi Olímpic Lluís stadium.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have looked very solid in La Liga so far this season as Xavi’s men will take advantage of playing at home to keep their title defence intact.

Barcelona are currently third in the La Liga table with 24 points, one point behind the leaders Real Madrid, and they remain unbeaten in all competitions during the 2023/24 campaign.

Barca managed to break the deadlock in the round 10 clash against Athletic Bilbao, with debutant Marc Guiu scoring the winner.

Los Blancos, on the other hand, head into the La Liga derby following a 1-1 draw with Sevilla. Real Madrid are eyeing their fifth away win of the season.

England playmaker Jude Bellingham will be making his first El Clasico appearance in the iconic match for Los Blancos.

Bellingham has begun the season in extraordinary form, with 11 goals in 12 games for the club across all competitions and he will now be aiming to make an impact against their bitter rivals.

The Catalans won three of their five meetings last season before winning La Liga while also coming away 3-0 winners during pre-season.

This leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s side out for revenge against Xavi’s men, who will be wearing a special kit featuring the Rolling Stones logo.

The 20-year-old midfielder was on target with a decisive strike in the 2-1 win at Braga on Tuesday night, which helped Madrid maintain their perfect start in the Champions League.

Bellingham was taken off late in the game with thigh discomfort, but Ancelotti said it was nothing to worry about.

Read also UCL: Bellingham on target as Real Madrid beat Braga to extend perfect record

“He’s good,” said Ancelotti. “Nothing important, he’ll recover, he’ll be there on Saturday.”

The midfielder failed to score in the Madrid derby, but he will have the chance to redeem himself against Barcelona.

Barcelona are sweating over the fitness of a number of first-team players, with Robert Lewandowski a major doubt, as well as Frenkie de Jong, while Jules Kounde remains on the sidelines with injury.

Joao Felix also gave Barcelona a scare when he limped off against Shakhtar on Wednesday night. But the Portugal international said on social media after the match that he was “fine” and had only suffered an impact injury, but he will need to be assessed before a decision on his involvement this weekend can be made.

Victory for the Catalans will see them overtake their archrivals in the standings, as they are only one point behind them.

A win for Ancelotti’s side will boost their race for the La Liga title.