Real Madrid vs Barcelona Football Match Score 16/10/2022
Barcelona are vulnerable on defense but they will still press high up the pitch. Ancelotti will be expected to start Valverde on the right wing and Rodrygo will come off the bench if needed. Real Madrid should try to exploit Barcelona’s lack of a solid transition defense the same way Inter did, but they will also have to be careful with Lewandowski when the ball is in the air if Los Blancos want the three points. After securing their berth for the round of 16 phase of the UEFA Champions League (UCL), record-time European champions Real Madrid will welcome arch-rivals FC Barcelona at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday for the first El Clasico of the new season. Karim Benzema-led Real Madrid and Xavi’s FC Barcelona will battle for LaLiga supremacy on matchday 9 of the Spanish top flight in Madrid.
Table-toppers Barcelona are heading to Madrid after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday. While Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid are through to the next round, Xavi’s Barcelona are on verge of an embarrassing group stage elimination from the Champions League. Despite thrashing Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in their previous league campaign, Barcelona will start as underdogs in the first Clasico of the LaLiga season 2022-2023. Occupying the top two spots in the current LaLiga standings, the traditional rivals are unbeaten so far in the ongoing season of the Spanish top flight. Making identical starts to the new league season, Benzema-led Real Madrid and Robert Lewandowski-starrer Barcelona are level on points after 8 matches. Madrid have the bragging rights over Barcelona in LaLiga’s most played fixture – the El Grand Clasico. Los Blancos have also won 5 of their last 6 matches against the Catalan giants across all competitions.
German defender Antonio Rudiger was declared fit to play the Clasico by head coach Ancelotti. The former Chelsea star had 20 stitches in his forehead after the defender collided into Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper in Madrid’s previous outing. Ancelotti has also confirmed that the hosts are without Thibaut Courtois as the star goalkeeper has failed to recover in time for the Clasico. Dani Ceballos is also out of the Clasico with a hamstring problem. Barcelona head coach Xavi named 21 players in the Barca squad for the Clasico. The former Barca captain and club legend has confirmed that Jules Kounde has been declared fully fit and the French defender is expected to start for the visitors. Barcelona’s Memphis Depay, Hector Bellerin, Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen will miss Blaugrana’s trip to Madrid on Sunday.
Xavi’s Barcelona are under the pump and the visitors will have to showcase immense mental strength to score crucial points against Madrid in their backyard. Real Madrid had suffered a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the absence of veteran striker Benzema last season. Even though Madrid will miss the services of goalkeeper Courtois, Benzema-led Real Madrid side is tipped to register a thrilling win over Barcelona in the Clasico on Sunday. The Ballon d’Or-bound forward is also expected to enter his name on the scoresheet at the Bernabeu. Following a tragic result against Inter Milan in midweek to effectively end their Champions League dreams, Barcelona return to La Liga action this Sunday with the biggest game of them all as they travel to the Spanish capital for El Clásico against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Had Barça done their job against Inter, this would be a really exciting Clásico to look forward to. It’s undoubtedly the biggest one in years as Barça have rebuilt themselves into contenders in La Liga and both teams are top of the table, unbeaten and playing really well in the league. But it’s impossible not to come into this game still scarred by the horrible European night on Wednesday that cast a huge shadow over Xavi Hernández, the team’s veterans and pretty much destroyed a very positive vibe in the fanbase. There was a small section of supporters that didn’t like Xavi very much, but the performances and results were keeping that a minority. Now, after two really bad games against Inter, the coach is under enormous pressure and scrutiny.
Plenty of fans have already turned on Xavi, and when a considerable portion of the fanbase turns on the coach things just get very ugly. They will be unable to acknowledge anything good that the coach does from now on, and they will overreact and be really loud when things don’t go well. Xavi is pretty much in a lose-lose situation right now, but his job is not to make fans like him. His job is to win games, and winning El Clásico with a strong performance would be a massive boost to the squad’s confidence. Winning La Liga is more crucial than ever after the continental disaster, and leaving the Bernabéu as league leaders will be a big step in achieving that goal. The players won’t be high on confidence but Xavi’s Barça have played very well against Madrid and the 4-0 destruction at the Bernabéu back in March is still fresh in the memory of fans of both sides. Madrid are in great form and will be favorites since they’re playing at home against a Barça team still picking up the pieces, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side has been vulnerable at the back this season and Barça will have chances to score and get at least a point.
It’s all about whether or not they are mentally strong enough to move on from Wednesday and compete at the highest possible level. The result on Sunday is not about tactics, or physical condition, or individual skills. It’s about the heart and the mind. Do Barça have both? We’ll find out. Barcelona and Real Madrid meet in the first Clasico of the season with the Spanish duo going into the game level on points after eight games. Both sides have won seven and drawn one of their opening eight league games ahead of their meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu. Barcelona have conceded just one goal in La Liga but are on the brink of a Champions League group stage exit, increasing the significance of this game. The Real Madrid coach spoke yesterday about a few injury concerns they have ahead of today’s game.
On Thibaut Courtois, who has missed the last few games, Ancelotti said: “He’s doing pretty well, but has trained very little. He’s ruled out of tomorrow’s game. He will get more training sessions under his belt next week. We’ll have to see how he’s doing for Wednesday or next Saturday. The only thing he needs now is to get out on the training pitch.” And midweek hero Antonio Rudiger, Ancelotti added: “He’s fine, he just has to wear a mask to avoid the wound from opening up, but he’s in no pain and is doing fine and really looking forward to the game. He’s a warrior. “What he brings to the team is his strength in duels and his ability in the air in both boxes. It was no surprise to me that he scored at the end of the game because, just like Militao, he has quality in the air. He also offers us his mentality and personality. He’s a winner who never stops, even in training. He’s a very pessimistic defender.”
In the world’s most popular football rivalry, there’s no love lost, but this year’s El Clasico may have a little extra bite to it. Real Madrid host Barcelona as both are tied atop the La Liga table, though the Blaugrana have the slight edge on goal difference. The two sides are both unbeaten through league play so far and sport identical records (7W-0L-1D, 22 points). Barcelona have been impressive in their eight domestic matches thus far, holding their opponents to just a single goal, while scoring 20 of their own during that span. But a once confident side is now doubting itself after a midweek draw at home to Inter Milan has left them on the cusp of elimination from the UEFA Champions League. Madrid, meanwhile, have excelled in the Champions League, becoming one of the first clubs to mathematically confirm a place in the knockout stage.
But they’ve not been blowing out the competition in La Liga or in Europe, and they needed a late Antonio Rudiger goal just to come away with a draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek. But Real Madrid have a reputation of rising up to the big occasion, and they’ll be keen on reminding Barcelona that the defending La Liga and European champions reside in the Spanish capital. The betting market has given Real Madrid a slight edge as the home side, but it’s clear that this match is up for grabs as both sides have plus odds. The market also expects goals to flow in this game despite Barcelona’s glittering league defensive record, with ‘both teams to score’ an overwhelming favorite as is the over 2.5 goal total. The even money goal total sits right around 3.0.
Real Madrid have the slight edge in the all-time series thanks to a run of wins that was only recently put to bed. Los Blancos won five consecutive meetings, with four of those coming in La Liga plus a Supercopa de Espana victory, until Barcelona ended that in emphatic fashion last time out with a 4-0 La Liga victory at the Bernabeu this past March. Prior to Real Madrid’s run of success, Barcelona enjoyed a long unbeaten run against their rivals, going seven matches without a loss from December, 2017 to December, 2019, racking up four wins and three draws.
Both these teams have significant flaws coming into this match. Real Madrid have struggled to move the ball upfield in the absence of Luka Modric, and that has seen the attack suffer. Barcelona, meanwhile, have committed several costly defensive mistakes. Real Madrid will have revenge on their minds after last season’s Champions League and domestic league double was soured slightly by an inexplicable 4-0 defeat at home to Barcelona in March. Barcelona, meanwhile, are under serious pressure after their Champions League debacle against Inter Milan. Xavi will be desperate to keep his revamped sign on track after spending big during the summer.