El Clasico: How Barcelona Could Line Up Against Real Madrid

El Clasico: How Barcelona Could Line Up Against Real Madrid

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Spanish La Liga logo
SPA La Liga
  • El Clasico remains one of the biggest fixtures in club football
  • Barcelona host their arch-rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, October 28
  • Barcelona are one point behind Real Madrid after 10 La Liga matches

Barcelona approach El Clásico with a favourable streak of results this season, maintaining an undefeated record. However, they face several injury concerns.

Sergi Roberto, Jules Koundé, and Pedri are highly unlikely to recover in time, and there are uncertainties surrounding the availability of Frenkie de Jong and Raphinha.

Barcelona, el clasico, real madrid
Barcelona are one point behind Real Madrid after 10 La Liga matches. Photos by Alex Caparro/ Gongora
Source: Getty Images

Lewandowski makes injury return for El Clasico?

However, there is optimism that striker Robert Lewandowski may recover in time from the ankle injury that sidelined him for the defending champions' previous three matches.

Furthermore, João Félix is in contention to start against Madrid, despite the minor injury he sustained during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Cancelo to play on the wings?

The most significant tactical adjustments for the Barça side seem to revolve around their flanks. Following his impressive performances for the Catalan team, youth product Fermin López is a contender to join the starting lineup on the right side, while João Cancelo is favored to initiate play from the left wing.

This strategic shift involves moving the Portuguese player from his usual right-back position, enabling Barça's manager, Xavi Hernández, to deploy his tried-and-true approach of stationing Ronald Araújo on the right side of the defense to contain Real Madrid's winger, Vinícius Júnior. In the heart of the midfield, Gavi and Ilkay Gündogan are expected to be certainties in the starting lineup.

In central defense, Andreas Christensen and Íñigo Martínez are poised to form Barça's defensive duo. Since joining the team in the summer, Martínez has performed admirably, earning Xavi's confidence and endorsement for his potential contributions to the Catalan side. Completing Barça's back four for El Clásico is the left-back, Alejandro Balde.

Madrid should worry about Yamal

Meanwhile, Lamine Yamal has been a vital creative presence for Barcelona so far this year, and he will need to be once again if the Catalans are to walk away with a result against Real Madrid, GOAL reports.

Los Blancos must prepare for the in-form 16-year-old Barca winger as he has the ability to change the game on his own, which makes him a threat for Carlo Ancelotti’s men on the right wing.

Yamal could make history if he scores against Real Madrid, becoming the youngest goalscorer in El Clasico history in a season that has seen him smash many records already.

Why Madrid fans are confident ahead of El Clasico

Sports Brief also reported that Real Madrid supporters hold high hopes for a triumphant outcome in the upcoming clash against arch-rivals Barcelona.

Their optimism is reinforced by the designation of Jesus Gil Manzano as the referee for the highly anticipated match on Saturday, further instilling a sense of assurance within the Madrid faithful.

During past encounters overseen by Manzano, the White Angels secured victories on both occasions, claiming a 3-1 win over Barca during the 2014/15 season and extending their record of triumphs with a 2-1 victory during the 2020-2021 season.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)