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Sunday brings the 247th official edition of El Clasico, the eternal rivalry between LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Though it’s still too early to look at single games within the context of the overall title race each side has 30 league games after this weekend it’s never too early for these two to land a critical blow on each other and establish a little bit of joy amid a difficult start to the season.

Will Barcelona get a morale-boosting victory at home, or will Real Madrid add further woe to Ronald Koeman and the Nou Camp landlords who are still processing the exit of Lionel Messi in the offseason?

Barcelona have won back-to-back games for the first time this season heading into the Clasico, but that has not served to lift the mood at Camp Nou.

There was apathy around the stadium, which was only half-full, on Wednesday as Barca followed up a 3-1 win against Valencia by beating Dynamo Kiev 1-0 to register their first points in the Champions League this season. Some supporters even whistled the players as they closed out the game against Kiev.

Real Madrid triumphed in both meetings with Barcelona last season, winning 3-1 at the Camp Nou in October 2020 and then 2-1 in Madrid in April, 2021. What will Sunday bring?

READ ALSOMessi-less and Ramos-less El Classico for Oct 24

It’s all about the midfield. If Casemiro, Kroos and Modric get the best of Busquets, de Jong and Gavi, Madrid get the win.

All eyes have been on Ansu in recent weeks, but Barca need a big game performance from summer signing Memphis. The Dutch forward started the season well after arriving on a free transfer from Lyon, but his performances have dipped since.

He’s scored four goals in 11 appearances, but hasn’t netted from open play since Aug. 29, with his last two goals both coming from the penalty spot.

However, while his numbers aren’t befitting of a Barca forward, his displays haven’t been all bad. He’s a player who doesn’t stop trying and is capable of the sublime on his day.

 

 


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