Sunday , June 16 2024

Barcelona v Real Madrid – Three duels which can change the game

Barcelona‘s Camp Nou will be turned into a cauldron for Real Madrid to enter and a series of personal match ups will hold the key to glory or defeat.

A battle of wills as well as skills will define the narrative so which are the areas where the game could be won or lost?

Messi against Marcelo

Brazil against Argentina.

Marcelo faces one of the toughest challenges on the pitch – trying to contain Lionel Messi.

Add to this the fact that the Brazilian doesn’t know what it feels like to win at Camp Nou, he really needs to be on top of his game on Saturday night.

On paper, the left back is better than his Barcelona counterpart Jordi Alba winning 43% of one-on-one duels compared to Alba’s 30%.

He also recovers more balls – one more per game – showing the upper hand in defensive actions.

Madrid will attack with Marcelo but need to find a system that both punishes Barcelona, whilst also preventing Messi winning control of the ball and pushing forward.

Marcelo’s countryman Casemiro could be deployed to help with the latter.

Bale against Alba

Jordi Alba’s speed can often be the key to kicking off a Barcelona attack.

He controls the left side with his agility making him a tough player to shake off the ball, and his strength in marking will provide a challenge for Gareth Bale to overcome.

Alba will be hoping team-mate Neymar can cause similar problems for Real’s right-back Dani Carvajal.

The key will be resisting pressure as both sides go for the jugular in attack.

Pepe against Suarez

Luis Suarez commanded the game for Barcelona in the previous El Clasico, scoring two of the Blaugrana’s four goals.

Sergio Ramos and Marcelo were sorely punished in that game, so Madrid’s defence will undoubtedly be wary of the Uruguayan, especially if he doubles up with Messi.

Pepe and his colleagues will have to form a solid line to have any chance of trying to disable Suarez’s shooting accuracy in this one.

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