Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Catalonia vs Madrid. The biggest domestic game in football.
With over 400 million people due to view the game featuring the two Spanish superpowers, the excitement is already building, yet this game feels like it will be missing something.
It is the first time in 11 years when neither Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing in the game. Lionel Messi misses out through injury while Cristiano Ronaldo now wears the famous black and white stripes of Juventus. For many people this feels like a massive loss and loses some interest in the famous battle, so who will step up and fill the shoes to win this game for their club?
Real Madrid come into this game knowing they have to win. Sitting seventh in the league after nine games with three losses already to their name, they know there is no room for error if they intend to win La Liga this season.
Julen Lopetegui will be hoping his team can perform to a high level to get the result with his job on the line. Rumours have emerged that this is his last chance to save his job, and if ‘Los Blancos’ lose to bitter rivals Barcelona, his days as the manager of thirteen-time champions of Europe will be over.
Real Madrid players will feel a little more confident after scoring and winning for the first time in four games but still know they are miles off the standard expected and demanded by everyone at the club.
Barcelona come into the game as favourites as they sit top of the league four points above Madrid. They know a win will put a big gap between the two clubs and will be in a very strong position to retain the league title.
Lionel Messi being absent from the game will be a big loss to the Catalonian club and they hope the likes of Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélécan step up to the plate and win the game for them.
As always, this game will be one to watch. Barcelona will be hoping to continue their current good form and will be hoping to pull away from Madrid early on in the season. Madrid know their only option is to win. They need to get out of their bad form and will be hoping they can do this on Sunday afternoon. Many eyes will be on the manager to see what team he picks after rotating the squad a lot already this season.
The Nou Camp will be a sell out and the atmosphere will be electric as always; football fans across the globe can’t wait to watch the game and see the outcome of the best domestic game in football.