Crunch time approaches
El Clasico is almost upon us and sees two teams with renewed vigour fighting it out for La Liga bragging rights. With Real Madrid having purchased some of the biggest names on the planet this summer in the form of Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, they were expecting to catch up to all conquering Barcelona this term and have appeared to do just that as they lead the way in the Spanish league.
Despite being humiliated at the hands of village side Alcorcon in the Copa Del Rey Manuel Pellegrini has managed to take his Bernabeu outfit back to the top of the pile just in time for this much anticipated and mouth watering encounter. When these two giants of European football go head to head there is rarely a minute to stand and think as the players hare around at one hundred miles an hour looking to pounce on their oppositions failings and secure a vital win.
The last ten such matches have produced an incredible 38 goals and a whole load of cautions and sendings off to boot. It goes without saying that both sides have at their disposal the very best the beautiful game has to offer and this season could well see a plethora of El Clasico debutants looking to seal their place in folklore.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be battling to get back from his long injury lay off in time for the kick-off but he may miss out but his absence hasn’t unduly affected their recent form. For Barcelona Zlatan Ibrahimovic has seamlessly replaced Samuel Eto’o as the primary goal getter for the Catalan side and given both sides amazing attacks a goalless draw seems highly unlikely and indeed an El Clasico hasn’t ended without a goal since 1987.
A betting man would probably be best off looking to put some funds on there being a great many bookings as these can on occasion turn into blood baths. As the Spanish league continues to show signs of a resurgence and with the cream of European talent making a beeline for the La Liga this derby takes on even more significance as it truly does appear to pit the wits of two teams at the very top of the tree.
Real Madrid limped into a runners up spot last term and changes from the very top down have thus far had the desired affect as Ramon Calderon desperately try to re-establish themselves on a level playing field to last seasons treble winners from the Nou Camp. This match will show just how far they have come since last May’s shocking 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona at the Bernabeu, a result that truly shook the Madrid club to the core.
COS Prediction: 2-2 draw with more than a handful of yelllow cards!