• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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El Clasico: Real Madrid, Barcelona renew fierce rivalry in LaLiga title chase

Real Madrid-Barcelona

Real Madrid will host Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in a crucial El Clasico clash on Sunday, with aim to secure three points over arch-rivals.

With their solid recent form, especially at home, and a favourable track record in El Clasico encounters, Los Blancos appear to hold the advantage over the Catalans.

Currently leading LaLiga by eight points and progressing to the Champions League semi-finals, Real Madrid are poised for a potential double. Their spot in the European competition’s last four came after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Manchester City, following a 4-4 aggregate draw.

Maintaining an impressive unbeaten streak of 16 matches across all competitions, Carlo Ancelotti’s side secured a 1-0 win against Mallorca in their last La Liga outing, courtesy of Aurelien Tchouameni’s goal.

Los Blanco’s dominance are evident at the Santiago Bernabeu, where they remain undefeated this season. Winning their last four La Liga home games, they’ve also kept clean sheets in each of those victories.

In contrast, Barcelona suffered a Champions League exit at the hands of PSG, losing 4-1 at home after leading 3-2 in the first leg. Now focusing on closing the gap in La Liga, they aim to reduce the point difference to five and inject excitement into the season’s finale.

Displaying promising domestic form with eight wins in their last 10 LaLiga matches, Barcelona are also unbeaten in their previous seven away games. Under Xavi’s leadership, they secured six victories in that run, including a 1-0 triumph over Cadiz in their most recent league fixture.

Real Madrid, LaLiga leaders have showcased their prowess by scoring the most goals (67) and conceding the fewest (20) in the league. Their attacking prowess could have been even more formidable if not for the woodwork, as they’ve hit the post or crossbar 16 times this season, marking their highest tally since 2020/21 (22).

Despite their historical rivalry, Barcelona have not been in their best form this season. However, since overtaking Girona to secure second place, the Catalans have shown glimpses of their former dominance. Notably, after Xavi announced his decision to step down at the end of the season following a 5-3 defeat to Villarreal in January, Barcelona embarked on a 13-game unbeaten streak in all competitions (W10 D3).

Should Barcelona find the back of the net on Sunday, they will mark the club’s 300th goal against Real Madrid in LaLiga history.

Head-to-Head Stats

Real Madrid have won their last three meetings with Barcelona in all competitions, including two this season.

On only four previous occasions have Madrid won three El Clásico games in a single campaign, the last time being in 2012/13 under Jose Mourinho when they played each other six times (W3 D2 L1).

Jude Bellingham’s brace gave Los Blancos a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture after Ilkay Gündogan’s early opener, with the England midfielder scoring a dramatic 92nd-minute winner.