The 2020/21 season’s first Clasico takes place at the end of this week and it will be the weakest game between Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent years.
Real Madrid lost on Saturday, then Barcelona went on to lose themselves. The planets aligning like this doesn’t happen every month, nor even every year, and that it has already happened this season isn’t a coincidence. It hadn’t happened that both lost before a Clasico since April 2003.
Madrid had lost 4-2 at Anoeta, while Barcelona had lost by the same score at home to Deportivo. Then, they went on to play out a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, though that game is best remembered for the images of ‘affection’ between Zinedine Zidane and Luis Enrique.
Ronald Koeman and Zidane both come into the game under a bit of pressure. Barcelona are coming off the back of a loss at Getafe, while Madrid lost at home to newly promoted Cadiz.
Antoine Griezmann will be involved in some capacity, but nobody knows if it’ll be from the start or as a substitute. The Frenchman again failed to put in a good display in Saturday’s defeat and he’s still not found his form at the Camp Nou.
Real Madrid’s own French forward, Karim Benzema, has had his own troubles this season as well and he has just one goal so far.
Benzema struggled against Cadiz and saw his best chance bounce back off the crossbar, leaving him on just one goal for the season so far. He needs to rediscover his eye for goal, but there’s no doubting that he’ll be in the XI on Sunday.
Sergio Ramos, replaced at half time against Cadiz, is expected to start and finish at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet have also had their own problems so far for the Catalans.
Everyone knows that a Clasico can be the best medicine to get two underperforming teams to lift their level, but it could also be the worst thing imaginable for the losing team.