The biggest game in football is on the horizon as Barcelona host Real Madrid in Camp Nou tonight.
This El Classico is the beginning of a new era. For the past decade, the maestros, the artists, the warriors, who have been giving their all would be absent.
An El Classico without Messi, without Ramos, without Ronaldo, without Suarez, without Iniesta, without Varane and many more-- nostalgia might hit different level as fans might not be ready to witness such things.
Then again, Busquets, Pique, Roberto, Alba, Benzema, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Marcelo would still be there. And youngsters like Fati, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Gavi, De Jong, Militao, Fede Valverde, Dest could mark a new era of Spanish football. Plenty to look for in this game.
Being so evidently on transition, neither of the teams have enjoyed a good run of form throughout the season.
Real Madrid still sits on top of the table with 17 points from 8 games. Barca on the other hand is two points behind them. They’ll take this match to overtake their rivals.
Real Madrid will try to increase the gap from others, especially from Atletico Madrid and Sevilla who are on par with them.
Nonetheless, both teams showed to be in good touch right before the clash.
Barca registered two consecutive wins for the first time in the season against Valencia and Dynamo Kyiv. Real Madrid thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 away to show they are ready for Barca.
Maybe both of them indicated that they are ready for whatever comes.
Both teams are in similar sort of condition. Their attack is more dependent on individual brilliance, their defence is shaky and their achilees heel.
Midfield is their main source of strength and both the team depends on that for the result. Also, there are quite a few injury concerns ahead of the game.
Barca will miss Araujo and Pedri for that. Alba is also doubtful having a sprained ankle against Kyiv. But Fati and Aguero being fit is a boost for them. Real Madrid might not miss Bale that much, however, Carvajal and Kroos-- back from injury, might not provide their best tonight, if they play.
Then again, that’s the most beautiful thing about the Classico. No matter how better form one team enjoys, no matter how great a momentum one has, the 22 players on the field neutralize everything on the pitch by giving their everything.
The past never matters, only the 90 minutes period does. Or else, why it would be the most enticing game in the world?
Tune in at 8:15 p.m. BST if you don’t want to miss it.