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El Clasico 2016: Real Madrid Predicted Lineup vs Barcelona: Zidane Wants Control

For the first time in years, Real Madrid might actually come to play at Camp Nou

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Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Since the days of Jose Mourinho, it is quite rare to see Real Madrid coming to Camp Nou to actually face off against Barcelona. El Clásico has been marked by a Barça team wanting to play football home and away, and Madrid going forward at the Bernabéu, but choosing a more defensive style when traveling to Catalonia.

This is not a knock on Los Blancos. It's their style, it's their choice and it's the way both Mourinho and Ancelotti felt comfortable with when facing Barça on the road. But it will be refreshing to see Zinedine Zidane looking to attack on Saturday's Clásico.

At least that's what his probable starting lineup seems to show. Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, who absolutely dominated Lionel Messi in the last derby, is likely to be on the bench, although that choice is less tactical than it is a way to preserve the fitness of a player who's just coming back from injury and will feature in the second half, without question.

Anyway, the starting midfield will be formed by Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Isco. There's no need to explain that these three guys like to play, and Isco was exceptional in Real's win against Atlético Madrid as what the Spanish call mediapunta - the man who plays behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Lucas Vázquez will replace Gareth Bale on the right side of the front three, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema completing the side.

While Ronaldo and Benzema deserve obvious attention — they scored the two goals that won Madrid the last Clásico — it's the midfield battle that really matters in this one: Zidane will look to battle for possession with Modric-Kovacic-Isco, and the Blancos will probably press high up the pitch to regain the ball close to the box and have the midfielders find the two biggest stars in scoring chances.

This a fascinating Clásico in the tactical sense, and after watching so much buses parked over the years, it'll be refreshing to see Madrid attacking at Camp Nou for a change. It may come back to bite them, and Barça fans would certainly love that, but it's surely going to make this a fun game of football.

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