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EL Classico: How will Real Madrid and Barcelona approach this fixture?

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Real Madrid lock horns with their bitter rivals Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

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One of the biggest fixtures in the football calendar, this El Clasico will be a blockbuster encounter.

REAL MADRID VS BARCELONA – LEAGUE POSITIONS:

It is safe to say that Los Blancos have the league in their hands with a ten-point lead over second-placed Sevilla.

Ancelotti’s men come into the derby with a five-match winning run in all competitions. The Catalan giants are battling it out for a top-four spot with Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, and Real Sociedad.

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Blaugrana come into this fixture looking to finish off a tough week with the best possible result, a win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

XAVI AND CARLO ANCELOTTI – MANAGER MINDSET:

After making the most out of the January transfer window, Xavi has turned the fortunes of the club. It is not just about scoring goals; Xavi has brought in an identity to this attack which has not been the case for the past few seasons.

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The greatest victory of Xavi’s managerial term at Barcelona as of now would be the nurturing of young talents like Pedri, Gavi and Torres.

El Classico: How Will Real Madrid And Barcelona Approach This Fixture?

Coming from victories against Osasuna and Galatasaray, Xavi’s men will look to finish this week strong and cement their place in the top four.

It is a sure thing to say that Barcelona will come all guns blazing against Real Madrid with an optimum mix of youth and experience.

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Ancelotti, on the other hand, will be without main man Benzema and also Mendy.

Ancelotti knows what he can expect from this Barca side and knows that they can give more than what they faced in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final.

Ancelotti would have learned from his round of 16 tie against PSG over two legs to rest the players who are not entirely fit.

Playing an unfit Benzema and Kroos in the first and second leg respectively proved to be a bad decision.

The decision to rest Benzema and Mendy is a good decision as a slip in this fixture is not going to hurt Madrid in the league.

El Classico: How Will Real Madrid And Barcelona Approach This Fixture?

Without Benzema, who has been the facilitator of the attack, Ancelotti will produce a much more defensive game, relying on Vinicius’s explosiveness and his experienced midfield to dictate the game when in possession.

EL CLASICO EFFECT

In the past, El Clasico results have played an important role in the league, but this derby will be different.

With Real Madrid ahead of the pack in the league, a slip in the Clasico is not going to swing the league against Los Blancos.

The Merengues have the advantage of taking this fixture on pretty conservatively with the absence of the French duo of Benzema and Mendy.

Xavi will have his side motivated to put on a show at the Bernabeu. Barcelona are favored to finish in the top four considering their form and form of the chasing pack.

Hence, the result may not produce huge changes in the league come the end of the season for Barcelona.

Barcelona have more to play for than the league standings, and it is about their mentality to not just compete against teams like Real Madrid but also start winning.

It could be the psychological boost they need for this team to be able to win against the top teams in Europe.

This match could probably be Barcelona’s comeback to the top.

Xavi will have his side motivated to put on a show at the Bernabeu. Barcelona are favored to finish in the top four considering their form and form of the chasing pack.

Hence, the result may not produce huge changes in the league come the end of the season for Barcelona.

Barcelona have more to play for than the league standings, and it is about their mentality to not just compete against teams like Real Madrid but also start winning.

It could be the psychological boost they need for this team to be able to win against the top teams in Europe. This match could probably be Barcelona’s comeback to the top.

Either way, this looks to be a blockbuster derby with both sides filled with some huge names in the football world and young superstars.

There are a few match-ups in this encounter to look at, like how the Barcelona forwards will break this Real Madrid backline,or how a Benzema-less Madrid will score against this Barcelona side.

But the most captivating match-up would be the midfield: Who wins the midfield battle – the youngsters of Barcelona or the veterans of Madrid? This could ultimately decide the match.

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