El Clasico: Preview, Dream11, stats and more
La Liga sees Barcelona host Real Madrid in El Clasico tonight. The two top teams in the Spanish league had seen this fixture get postponed earlier due to fears of civil unrest in Catalonia. However, one would hope the match goes on tonight with both sides aiming to get a grip in the table. Here's the complete match preview.
Barcelona lead La Liga proceedings on goal difference
After 16 games, both teams are placed on 35 points. However, Barcelona lead the show on goal difference. Whoever wins this match, will open a seven-point gap on Sevilla, who stay third (31 points). Notably, both Barcelona and Real had to settle for draws in the previous round. Barca played out an entertaining 2-2 affair against Real Sociedad. Real held Valencia 1-1.
Why was the match delayed by two months?
The match was delayed by two months after days of protest took place in Barcelona. This was after nine Catalan separatist leaders were convicted of sedition over their role in the referendum. They were also handed jail sentences of between nine and 13 years. La Liga made the postponement request because of circumstances beyond their control. Protests are expected on the matchday.
Views: What did the managers have to say?
"That's something different for us. We've been told that we have to leave together and that's what we'll do. There's nothing else to explain. The important thing is that the game goes ahead," said Real manager Zinedine Zidane. Ernesto Valverde said, "I think we could have played the game on the original day and there is no reason why we can't play the game."
243rd El Clasico on offer tonight
This is set to be the 243rd El Clasico across competitions. Barca have won 96, whereas, Real have clinched 95 victories. 51 games have ended in draws. In La Liga, this is set to be the 179th match. Both teams have won 72 each. 34 matches have ended in draws.
Stat attack: The best numbers on offer
Barcelona can go on to record more league wins than Real for the first time in El Clasico history. They are one goal away from registering the mark of 400 in El Clasico matches across competitions. Real haven't beaten Barca in any of the last six meetings. Luis Suarez could become the third Barcelona player to reach 10+ goals against Real in La Liga.
Dream11, timing, TV listing and match prediction
The match is scheduled at 12:30 AM IST. No television channel will telecast the match live in India. However, one can stream the match live on Facebook. Given the recent domination by Barca in El Clasico, we could see Lionel Messi & Co. win this tie. Dream11 (3-5-2): Stegen (GK), Varane, Ramos, Pique, Semedo, Carvajal, De Jong, Kroos, Busqets, Messi (C) and Benzema (VC).