Big Match Focus: Barcelona v Real Madrid

Barcelona

There will be no love lost between heated rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid when the Champions League finalists head to the Nou Camp to face the 2018 Primera Division champions.

La Liga
6 May 2018
Game week 35
Kick-off: 20h45 CAT
Venue: Camp Nou
Referee: A. Hernandez
Assistant referee: T. Sobrino, J. Naranjo
Fourth official: R. Escudero

Head-to-head summary

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Barcelona 66 29 17 20
Real Madrid 66 20 17 29

Previous encounter:

Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona (23/12/17) La Liga

Barcelona goalscorers: Luis Suarez (54′), L. Messi (PG 64′), A. Vidal (90′)

Players to watch:

With Andres Iniesta’s illustrious career at Barca coming closer and closer to its end with every game, all eyes will be on the Spanish maestro as he looks to put one over Real for the last time, with a little help from Messi and Co.

Karim Benzema was excellent in the Champions League defeat of Bayern Munich in the week with his two goals to take his tally to the season to five. He’s had double the amount of assists though, helping the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (24), Gareth Bale (12) and Isco (6) to find the back of the net.

Team form and manager quotes:

Barcelona wrapped up La Liga with their 4-2 defeat away to Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, with a hat-trick from Leo Messi after Philippe Coutinho’s opener.

Ernesto Valverde’s side are unbeaten in four since their shock elimination from the Champions League by Roma and they are just four games from going the whole season unbeaten in La Liga.

Zinedine Zidane’s side, meanwhile, come into this game on the high of making it to a third successive Champions League final.

While they have so far been unstoppable in Europe, the club’s league form has been patchy, but they come into this tie having last beaten Leganes 2-1 in the league – prior to holding Bayern 2-2 in their semi-final second leg, to progress to the final.

They are in third place on 71 points, four behind Atletico Madrid and 15 points adrift of Barca, with four league games to play.

Ahead of the clash, Barca striker Luis Suarez said he is looking forward to a special game.

“The Clasico is a special game, it is spectacular to play in and I’ve been lucky to enjoy many of them. Having the chance to play in them is amazing, it is such a great spectacle for supporters, even though players suffers from nerves and anxiety.”

Zidane’s side may still be feeling the efforts of their semi-final, with the manager revealing what his players went through to achieve their aims.

He said: “In football, you have to suffer. You cannot be in the final without suffering, it’s even better, more beautiful when you win like that.

“Madrid never gives up. It is the same in adversity, we believe in what we do and we get things done by believing in ourselves and fighting.”

Team news:

Andres Iniesta is fit to play after suffering with a minor calf problem.

Real Madrid are expected to be without the injured Raphael Varane, Isco and Dani Carvajal.

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