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The Blaugrana have enjoyed a resurgence since the end of January, but they are not in a position to challenge Los Blancos’ push for the title just yet. Nonetheless, Barca will hope that their January recruits such as Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continue their fine form.
“He has scored goals all his career. He gets into space well. He is mature, intelligent, humble, and positive,” said Barcelona manager Xavi of the Gabonese striker.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, is hoping his team shrugs off their penchant for slack performances in the first half of games: “It cost us to go into the games with the necessary intensity, it’s a soft spot that we have had and we are going to fix it,” said the Italian. “The rivals squeeze a lot in the first [half], then lose rhythm and we get better.”
Karim Benzema – The French striker has had the penchant for scoring key goals for Real Madrid in recent seasons, and few would be more important than helping his side claim a victory in El Clasico and moving them ever close to another La Liga title.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – The Gabonese striker has impressed at Barcelona since his move from Arsenal in the January transfer window, but now he has the chance to forever write his name into Blaugrana folklore.
In head-to-head stats, Real and Barcelona have met in 248 competitive matches dating back as far as 1902. Los Blancos have 100 wins compared to 96 for the Blaugrana, while 52 games have been drawn.
When the teams met earlier this season, at Camp Nou in October 2021, Real claimed a 2-1 away win thanks to goals from David Alaba and Lucas Vasquez. Barca have not claimed a win in this rivalry since March 2019.
Battles to watch
Carlo Ancelotti v Xavi – While Ancelotti is a more pragmatic and adaptable tactician, Xavi is all about the philosophies and ideals of his team’s style of play. Both managers will hope their approach brings glory in this El Clasico.
Ferland Mendy v Adama Traore – Real’s left-back has performed admirably this season, but he’ll face a tough test when he comes up against the pace and power of former Wolverhampton winger Traore.
Luka Modric v Pedri – Two incredible midfielders will go head-to-head, with Modric representing veteran nous and grizzled experience, while Pedri is the icon of youth, energy and blossoming talent.
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Match broadcast details
All times CAT
Sunday 20 March 2022
22:00: Real Madrid v Barcelona – LIVE on SuperSport La Liga, SuperSport Maximo 2 and SuperSport GOtv La Liga