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Real Madrid vs Barcelona: who will win El Clásico?

Real Madrid vs Barcelona. El Clásico. The latest edition of Spanish football’s famous fixture takes place on Saturday night and the result could have huge impact in the race for LaLiga.

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (R) congratulates Real Madrid’s Spanish forward Lucas Vazquez at the end of the Spanish League football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 24, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid top the table after 29 rounds of matches, but the Rojiblancos have virtually no margin for error with nine rounds remaining in the competition.

Barcelona are in second, just one point behind Diego Simeone’s side, with Real Madrid a further two back in third.

A win for either Barcelona or Madrid at the Alfredo Di Stéfano on Saturday would therefore represent a huge boost to the title hopes of either side – particularly with Atletico in freefall over the past few weeks.

Madrid have several key absences in defence, with Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane out for the El Clásico. However, all three were missing for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool on Tuesday and Zinedine Zidane’s side still secured an impressive 3-1 win.

That result will give Madrid confidence ahead of the visit of Barcelona, but Los Blancos’ makeshift back line is likely to be tested much more by the likes of Lionel Messi, Pedri, Ousmane Dembele et al.

Likewise Barcelona. Coach Ronaldo Koeman has played three at the back with significant success in recent times, but the system is yet to be scrutinised against top opposition and could prove suspect against the pace of Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio.

Madrid’s midfield is also arguably superior to Barcelona’s now, with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro in fine form against Liverpool and consistently excellent in recent times.

However, the Blaugrana still possess the game’s greatest player in Messi and the Argentine will carry their main threat on Saturday as he seeks his first Clásico goal since 2018.

The game appears very much in the balance, with both teams on a positive run heading into the fixture, and goals should be expected.

But who will win? It is, as so often with these two teams, too difficult to call

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