It should have happened on October 26, but on Wednesday evening the first Clasico of the season will go ahead as Real Madrid travel to face Barcelona.
Well, it should go ahead on Wednesday night, anyway.
The fixture wasn’t played on its previous date because of the large scale protests in the city in the aftermath of nine separatist leaders being jailed, which led to the Spanish football authorities to postpone the game on security grounds.
And while the same level of instability won’t be present on Wednesday evening, there’s still a chance that it will be disrupted, as Alvaro Romeo said on the Totally Football Show this week.
“Tsunami Democratic, which is actually a political platform Pep Guardiola used to send messages from, has organised a march or a rally for four hours before the Clasico, to demonstrate in the four streets that give access to the Camp Nou – they basically want to close access to the stadium, so the buses from both teams can’t get to the ground.
“It is expected that 18-23,000 will show up, so the two teams have decided to access the Camp Nou together, and both buses will go to the stadium four hours before the game. What is the purpose of this? For the Real bus not to get vandalised, and they expect that if Barcelona go to the ground with Real, it will soften a little bit the angry environment that will be found there.”
Assuming things do go off without a hitch, what can we expect on the pitch?
“Real Madrid will play very differently to how they played against Valencia: Casemiro was rested because he was one yellow card away from a suspension. I don;’t think they will play with three up front, but with four in midfield – Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde and Modric. And up front, Gareth Bale seems to be the one who will play with Karim Benzema.
“Marcelo and Eden Hazard are both injured, so their left flank will be badly affected, and that’s pretty much where Leo Messi plays. So I can envisage a lot of action on the right wing of Barcelona.
“It will be a bit less proactive than against Valencia, against a Barcelona team that probably will be very similar – if not exactly the same – as against Real Sociedad.”
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