Classic: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid... which one will leave Montjuic more satisfied? | Video
Barcelona and Real Madrid They face each other this Saturday, 8:15 a.m., central Mexico time, in the Montjuic Olympic Stadium, first Clásico of the season, a match in which both Xavi Hernández as Carlo Ancelotti They will try to implement their style of play, being the cBall control is the protagonist in the case of the Blaugranas and verticality in the case of the Merengues.
Xavi's Barcelona 2.0 He arrives at the first Classic of the season harboring some doubts in his game. Weighed down by injuries to important players in the last few days –Pedri, De Jong, Raphinha or Robert Lewandowski-the football style proposed by the Terrassa coach has gone from beauty to pragmatism. Despite this, the culés continue to be a team that subdues their rivals based on ball control.
The current champion is third that finishes the most in LaLiga, with an average of 16.2 shots per game, of which 13.6 percent end in a goal. And the culé team is standing out for its goalscorer, having scored 22 goals in the 10 days that the League has been played. Scoring records characterized by the harmony of their scorers. Up to 13 different players know what it means to celebrate a goal so far in the Leaguebeing the best of the five major leagues in this section.
Regarding the path to goal, Barca is a team that bases its advance towards the rival goal on possession. Thus, It is the LaLiga team with the most possession half a crowd in their games with a 69 percent and an average of 6 passes per offensive play.
The line of three midfielders characteristic since times of Pep Guardiola continues to be maintained, although in matches against rivals with greater offensive potential it is common to introduce a half quarter by Xavi to control the game more. A core that emerges as a great protagonist, being De Jong or Gündogan, two of the Blaugrana players with the most actions with the ball in what has been played in the League.
Another important part of the scheme Xavi Hernandez They are the sides. Joao Cancelo and Balde They are essential in your game, each one having a different role. to Portuguese, due to its associative capacityit is common to see him in centered positions accompanying the defensive pivot in the release of the ball and generating superiority inside.
On the contrary, The youth player brings vertigo to the Barça game on the left wing, often motivated by their winger, which is usually occupied by a player who tends more to occupy the midfield area. An importance, that of both, reflected in the number of balls they touch throughout the games, 578 in the case of Balde and 646 in that of Cancelo.
The defense, However, it is the great Barcelona pending in this domestic start. The current champion, who broke all the defensive records in the competition last season, He is seeing how this season the rivals manage to hurt him with very little.
Despite being the second LaLiga team that concedes the fewest shots against (102), He has conceded 10 goals, What are the the same one he received last season in 31 days. Data that evidence the drop in level of the Barcelona defense, also diminished by the injuries of important players such as Ronald Araújo or Jules Koundé.
Bellingham, the key to Real Madrid
While, real Madrid He will examine his mutation from this campaign in the Classic. Although it seems unlikely, Carlo Ancelottinow without the important figure of Benzema, has left behind his classic 4-3-3, sometimes with modifications, to resort to a unusual 4-4-2more similar to a rhombus.
The adaptation was not as smooth as expected, but the good performance of Jude Bellingham In the domestic start -5 goals in the first 4 games- it somewhat disguised the doubts in the Madrid game.
However, The LaLiga leader never forgot his direct and offensive style, without entertaining too much with sterile possessions, since he only needs to have the ball 58 percent per game so far this campaign, with less than 6 (5.7) passes per action. First with some very deep sides and protagonists in the attack, which sometimes causes spaces on the sides, and that provokes a somewhat more contained model, seen in the last duels.
This consists of placing Valverde and Bellingham closer to the bands, providing defensive effort and poweralthough less reaching the baseline, but with the English with a lot of freedom and stepping on the area a lot. Thus, the merengue team has only put 130 centers so far this season in the League, very far from the 227 from Sevilla, the most in the competition. A fact that shows that It is not his main asset to channel his attacks.
A mission that does have a midfield with many variants and that dominates Tchouameni (670), Kroos (667), Valverde (657) and Bellingham (597) like the players of the Madrid team with more interventions in the League. Thus, the core and danger generator starts from the core, to then achieve offensive success.
And this lies in the individual quality of their attackers and in a philosophy that consists of 'bombing' and cornering the rival with shots -180 in total (the most in Europe) and 17.8 per game. Although it is only the cfourth highest scoring team (21), despite also 35.6 actions in the rival area; which reveals a worrying lack of forcefulness and effectiveness in front of goal.
In this sense, Vinícius more 'forced' to play inside in the new scheme He is already starting to pick up pace after the injury from the beginning of the season, but his usual companion above remains a mystery. Rodrygo He is going through a bad moment in front of goal, and he is the player who finishes the most, but nevertheless He has only seen the door once, in the league premiere in mid-August at San Mamés, and is outside the 'top 100' in terms of minutes needed to convert. The alternative is Joselu, less mobile, but more voracious due to his best status as '9' and with 5 goals in 6 duels as a starter.
Finally, Real Madrid's defense seems to have regained its solidity and stability, something that was in question after the serious injuries to his 'marshal' Eder Militao and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The defensive structure of the Ancelotti is the best in the competition, with only 7 goals conceded, although it does allow up to 12.4 shots against - only Barça and Atlético receive less. A fact that speaks very well of Kepa, but which indicates that continues to show some weakness at the back that could be strengthened by the recovery of Ferland Mendand at the cost of losing 'punch' above.
(With information from Europa Press)
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