Sohom Sehanobish: As the Confetti’s of the Club World Cup gets slowly wiped out, the grim reality of being eleven points behind the perch of La Liga comes into existence in front of the Los Blancos. On the other hand, after going through a dismal campaign both on the field and off the field last term, the Blaugranas find them eleven points clear at the top of the table. The Christmas in Spain is about to get heated up as the biggest rivalry in European football is set to take the center stage. It’s Real Madrid vs Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.
Real Madrid will definitely go onto the Clasico high on confidence, as they became the first ever club to retain the FIFA Club World Cup in UAE last week. With no fresh injury concerns and getting ace defender Raphael Varane back in disposal, the defending champions will definitely try to save the league from slipping out of their hands, as they’ll look to cut the points gap from their arch-rivals. The club did go through a rough patch since the beginning of the season as they finished second in their Champions League group to Tottenham Hotspurs, and frequent point losses in La Liga created a landslide gap between them and Barca.
Barcelona will be quite relaxed given the state of the league table, and the Bernabeu has been a happy hunting ground for them in the past few years. Although injuries to new signing Ousmane Dembele and defender Samuel Umtiti did trouble them, still they maintained their hegemony in both La Liga and the Champions League, winning their respective CL group and getting a massive lead in the League table. They’d definitely want to end the year on a high as a win will almost enable them to have one hand on the trophy.
Over the years, the Clasico has also become an attraction to global fans due to the clash of two of the biggest footballers of this generation, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Both the stalwarts has scored 53 goals in this calendar year, and they’d definitely love to have an upper-hand over their projected rival come the year end. Now, it is too be seen that whether the Spanish supremacy or the Catalan Capitulation will be the talking point. Form? or Formidability? The answer awaits.