Though the result of Sunday afternoon’s Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid won’t be decisive, there’s still the little matter of bragging rights and a confidence boost to be gained from a victory.
Los Blancos top the table, and whilst they’ve looked sensational in some games, the losses against Sheriff in the Champions League and Espanyol in La Liga prove that if you catch them when they’re not at their best, they are very beatable.
Barcelona, by contrast, haven’t really got going at all in 2021/22. Wins during the past seven days against Valencia and Dynamo Kyiv have lifted the mood slightly, but neither victory was straightforward.
Another home win for the Catalans will give them the shot in the arm they need to perhaps kick-start their season, though it’s worth pointing out that Ronald Koeman has yet to win a Clasico as manager.
He’s also yet to beat a side managed by Carlo Ancelotti in his career, and if he were to lose his third match in a row against Barca’s eternal rivals, Koeman will become the first manager of the Blaugranes in 85 years to own such a worrying statistic, per Sport.
The last time it happened was to Patrick O’Connell during the 1935/36 season.