Countdown To El Clasico: Momentum Now With Real Madrid

Countdown To El Clasico: Momentum Now With Real Madrid


Real Madrid’s hard-fought 3-2 victory over Malaga coupled with the 1-1 draw between Valencia and Barcelona has given Los Blancos a way back into the La Liga title race. The gap to Barca now stands at eight points and there is quiet optimism that Real may close the gap further before El Clasico on December 23rd.

Zinedine Zidane can feasibly field a shadow side against Fuenlabrada in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday night, with Real Madrid already holding a 2-0 advantage. Looking ahead to the next league game, Athletic Bilbao are out of form and have won just once in their last ten La Liga matches. Meanwhile, Barcelona will be wary of free-scoring Celta Vigo which could be a potential banana skin.

Barca have drawn two matches in a row and are not yet assured top-spot in their Champions League group. This means that they are likely to field a full-strength side against Sporting while Real Madrid pretty much know they are going to finish second, so can rest key players against Dortmund. Barcelona then travel to face Villarreal who are a strong side at home, while Real Madrid welcome Sevilla who have lost five of their last seven away matches at the time of writing.

After that, Real Madrid head to Abu Dhabi to take part in the Club World Cup, with a maximum of two fixtures to be played. They join the competition at the semi-final stage on December 13th and the final is scheduled for December 16th. Again, Zidane is likely to use the games to experiment and rotate his squad while Barcelona must play Deportivo la Coruña in La Liga.

It’s fair to say that Real Madrid have a more favourable run of fixtures between now and El Clasico. There is every chance that Barcelona will drop points and if Real Madrid can win all of their La Liga matches, then they could apply some pressure on their arch-rivals.