The confrontation between Real Madrid and Barcelona always captures the attention of the fans. Pride and prestige are always at stake with every match in this rivalry. However, the match to be played this Saturday becomes exceptionally particular for the simple reason that both teams will be fighting for the possibility of winning the title of LaLiga despite the fact that neither of them reach the classic as leader.
Barcelona is one point behind Atlético de Madrid, while Real Madrid is three points apart from its neighbors in the capital of Spain.
Who best reaches this classic? What are the strengths of each team? What are its main weaknesses? This analysis and more were carried out by the experts from ESPN Sports, Elizabeth Patiño, Pilar Pérez and Katia Castorena in this week’s edition of the podcast The Armchair.
The analysis began with the strengths of Barcelona and with Pilar Pérez highlighting that “although in some of the thirteen victories that they achieved in 2021 they suffered to achieve them, Barca brings a good mental impulse that I believe is reinforced by the arrival of Joan Laporta to the presidency that changed the air in the club. More and more we are seeing the awakening of certain key players like Ousmane Dembélé and the fact that Ronald Koeman he is finding a way to play for his team. Now we see a Barcelona that knows what it is playing ”.
For her part, Katia Castorena recognizes one of her strengths in the combination of experience and youth. “They have found the exact point for the most experienced and the young to understand each other and offer a good game and above all, good results. They have not lost since last December 5, this is 19 dates without knowing the defeat, which means that they know how to find a way to win games ”.
“With Lionel Messi you already have an important strength,” acknowledged Elizabeth Patiño. “But it seems to me that the hallmark is that the possession of the ball that he has has not become inconsequential. Today they are the team that play the best of the three that are trying to win LaLiga, although I have a doubt: the young players who are doing so well so far, have they understood what it is to play a classic? “
As for Real Madrid, Pilar Pérez highlighted the great game that the merengue team gave in the UEFA Champions League against Liverpool. “Having stopped one of the most powerful offensives such as Liverpool without Sergio Ramos and without Raphael Varane, speaks clearly of how well they are on the defensive level, but their great strength is their midfield with Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, who for some time has been saying that he is the best on the European continent ”.
“I think the greatest strength is having shown the world and himself what they are capable of in the victory against Liverpool. The mood with which they are going to reach this classic is going to be through the roof. And the midfield plus the level of Karim Benzema can be decisive, “said Katia Castorena.
The subject was closed by Eli Patiño who, after agreeing on the importance of the soul and the midfield, “I have to include Benzema because perhaps he will not always be present scoring goals, but he will perform the whole game.”
In terms of the shortcomings of each team there were generalized coincidences. Elizabeth Patiño focused on the benches of both teams saying that “I don’t see Barcelona among the substitutes someone who is a shock and can change the face of the team. If the first eleven do not give you, there is not much to draw on. And as for Madrid, the great weakness is defense. I am concerned that for Madrid the man who has understood like no one else that these classics are played differently than Sergio Ramos is not there ”.
Pilar Perez also highlighted Barcelona’s defensive problems: “The rear does not feel very safe, especially not being able to count on Gerard Piqué, who does not know if he will reach the classic. And in the attack I think that this Barcelona depends much more on Messi than Real Madrid on Benzema. But I also think that Real Madrid is going to miss the old defensive guard of Varane and Ramos ”.
Finally, Katia Castorena highlighted as the great weakness of both to “the defenses. Although both have important injured players, it is clear that neither stands out in this regard, although thinking of the spectator, this could open the door for there to be many goals in the classic. That would not be bad at all ”.
Finally, the conversation and analysis focused on the coaches of both teams. With very different profiles, both are doing their job.
“Ronald Koeman with his quiet style, which does not get into controversy, he has found an interesting tactical drawing, has given this Barcelona an identity and has even made Messi smile “, said Eli Patiño, adding that” although he suddenly seems to despair and start making 2 or 3 changes, I think there is not much to criticize him because he has done a great job, but it is impossible not to stay with the French. Despite all the games, despite the “they will no longer be able to”He continues to find his way around so that his team continues to compete at the highest level ”.
Pilar Perez made a comparison of both to arrive at the same place. “On the one hand Koeman was criticized for experimenting a lot, changing his formations and on the side of Zidane it is said that all he does is give the lineups and not offer anything from the tactical aspect. The two have kept their mouths shut, but today if they ask me which of the two I prefer, I choose Zidane ”.
Katia Castorena closed the topic justifying Keoman’s initial search to try to find the best team and the best play style. “I had to go testing to see which player gave me certain things that I was looking for in order to shape his ideal eleven. And he did that with the pressure of having all the reflectors pointed at him. And Zidane I give him the credit for knowing how to handle the dressing room but he also has the other part. When he had to rearm the team from the injuries and inconveniences that arose, he knew how to find adequate answers. And I would add that both of them, having played this classic in the past, will know how to convey to their players the need to win. And like Pilar, I stay with Zidane ”, he concluded.
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