FC Barcelona (1st, 35pts) vs Real Madrid (2nd, 35pts)
Competition/Round: 2019-20 La Liga, Matchday 10*
*Match postponed from original date (October 27)
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Arthur, Ousmane Dembélé, Jean-Clair Todibo, Moussa Wagué, Junior Firpo (out)
Real Madrid Outs & Doubts: Eden Hazard, Marcelo, Lucas Vázquez, James Rodríguez, Marco Asensio, Brahim Díaz, Álvaro Odriozola, Mariano (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 8pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 7pm GMT (UK), 2pm ET, 11am PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández (OH DEAR)
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Premier Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), Movistar La Liga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a dramatic 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad that somehow kept them in first place in La Liga (thanks, Valencia), Barcelona are back in action in La Liga to finally play the biggest game in the sport: El Clásico takes place at Camp Nou almost two months after its postponement for security reasons at the time, and the Greatest Stadium on Earth will be the site of what promises to be an amazing game.
Neither of these two teams is exactly great to watch and their results are much better than their performances this season, and if Atlético Madrid weren’t so bad this season it’d be hard to figure out how these two are top of the table right now. But they are, and the winner takes sole possession of first place and takes a significant step towards winning the title since head-to-head record is the first and most important tie-breaker in Spanish football.
Barça have owned Madrid in recent history and turned their stadium in the capital into the Santiago BARÇAbéu, but this one is in Barcelona where Real have played well lately and are more than capable of getting a result. Ernesto Valverde’s record against Madrid as Barça manager is astonishingly great, and whenever the fans have absolutely had it with him he finds a way to win them back by beating Los Blancos.
El Clásico is about so much more than performance, form, hatred for your own manager or place in the table. It’s about winning and feeling great no matter how ugly the game is. It’s about laughing at your friend who is now a Juventus fan but is trash-texting you during the game for some reason. It’s about that unique feeling that you only get after beating your biggest rival. Get your crap done, Barça. We’ve waited two extra months for this. Make it count.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, De Jong; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius