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El Clasico: Anxiety As Real Madrid, Barca Set To Renew Rivalries At Bernabeu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Real Madrid and Barcelona will meet in the 250th competitive El Clásico, eyes all over the world will be trained on the Spanish capital.

Adding to the spectacle, it’s a top-of-the-table La Liga (LL) clash with both sides sharing identical league records this term (W7, D1) and comfortably clear off their nearest challengers.

Madrid snatched a last-gasp 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw on Tuesday night against Shakhtar Donetsk and although they rested players who should feature here, it was an underwhelming performance. Even manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted that “we played really poorly tonight,” before praising his side for never giving up.

They needed those battling qualities, as Madrid haven’t dominated games in recent weeks, even at home. In two of their last four home outings, Los Blancos needed goals after the 70th minute to finish off the job, although they failed to score after half-time in each of their last two fixtures at Santiago Bernabéu.

Barcelona comes into this derby following seven straight LL victories, the last six without conceding. With memories of last term’s 4-0 H2H win at the venue still fresh in the memory, they’re targeting two successive LL H2H wins for the first time since March 2019 and should be buoyed by Wednesday’s come-from-behind 3-3 Champions League draw with Inter Milan.

Impressively, Barca have won four of the last six H2Hs in Madrid (L2) and are eyeing up, overtaking Madrid in the LL H2H scoring stakes – both stand level at 295 goals (Barcelona: W73, D35, L76). If so, they might get it done early as they’ve netted within 25 minutes in three of their last four league away games.

It will be shown live on dstv La Liga at 15:15 (GMT+1).


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