HomeAntoine GriezmannBarcelona vs Real Madrid: Two out-of-form teams gearing up...

Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Two out-of-form teams gearing up for an unpredictable Clasico

- Advertisement -

The 2019/20 campaign marked one of the worst seasons in Barcelona’s recent history.

Not only did they fail to protect their narrow advantage over Real Madrid in the final stretch of the season, but they also suffered their most humiliating defeat in the Champions League — an 8-2 loss at the hands of eventual champions, Bayern Munich.

- Advertisement -

Real Madrid, on the other hand, benefitted greatly from Zinedine Zidane’s return and beat Barcelona to the punch in La Liga. In Europe, they were bested by a determined Manchester City in the Round-of-16 stage, which marked their second successive pre-quarter-final exit from the Champions League.

This season, the two giants have started below their sky-high standards and have already been bested in the Spanish top-flight. However, in the biggest game in Spanish football, records and recent form hardly ever take precedence. It’s all about determination and hunger — qualities these two teams have in abundance.

Ronald Koeman’s inconsistent Barcelona

After the disastrous last season under Quique Setien, Barcelona needed a more adventurous coach — someone who isn’t afraid of calling the shots. Former Dutch coach, Ronald Koeman, wasn’t exactly at the top of Barcelona’s wishlist, of course, but he looks capable of giving Real Madrid a run for their money.

Barcelona opened the season with consecutive wins over Villarreal and Celta Vigo. In these two matches, the Blaugrana netted a whopping seven goals, conceding none.

Their passing was on-point, they created a bucketload of chances, and they never looked like settling for a point. Over the next two games, however, the story took a turn for the worse.

First up, they welcomed Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla to town in a fixture many dubbed as the first test for Koeman’s Barcelona. The hosts were on the back foot for the majority of the tie and were lucky to escape with a 1-1 draw. They failed to impose the fear factor on the visitors and never actually hit their stride.

Their lowest point of the season, however, came in the next match, away at Getafe. Koeman, of course, fielded a plethora of capable individuals, but he couldn’t force them to perform and deliver as a cohesive unit.

Lionel Messi was nowhere to be seen on the pitch and cut a rather frustrating figure. The only goal of the tie came from the penalty spot off Jaime Mata’s boots just before the hour mark.

Trailing by a goal, Barcelona couldn’t mount a comeback and came back to Camp Nou empty-handed.

But the Blaugrana did start their Champions League campaign on a winning note, beating Hungarian outfit Ferencvárosi TC 5-1 at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, with Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele finding the back of the net.

Zinedine Zidane’s inefficient Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane barely took any time getting his beloved Real Madrid back into shape, last season. He, of course, didn’t have Cristiano Ronaldo’s wizardry in front of the goal. So, he made sure Real Madrid conceded considerably fewer than they scored.

Karim Benzema pitched in with the most goals and was deemed as one of the most crucial cogs in Zidane’s title-winning Real Madrid. After the whole Messi debacle in the summer, many expected Real Madrid to be doubly determined to get their second successive La Liga. The real picture, however, has been a lot bleaker.

https://twitter.com/realmadrid/status/1319337731051286528?s=20

The defending champions kicked off their title defence with a goalless draw at Real Sociedad. The game saw the visitors created a few chances, but no one was there to put the ball in the back of the net. Sociedad, too, tried to create a few chances, but their advances were promptly cut down by Real Madrid’s efficient defence.

The next game saw Los Blancos return to winning ways — albeit with a little bit of luck. Playing away at Real Betis, Real Madrid struggled to get a foothold in the game and even found themselves trailing at one point. The red card took the wind out of Real Betis’s sails and Sergio Ramos’ penalty finally settled the game in favour of Madrid.

The next two games against Real Valladolid and Levante ended in 1-0 and 2-0, respectively. However, in both matches, Thibaut Courtois was adjudged to be the Man of the Match, thanks to his slew of impressive saves.

Finally, against Cadiz, the whole ruse was embarrassingly undone, as the Whites suffered their first defeat of the season.

Los Blancos then started their Champions League campaign in the worst possible manner, losing 3-2 against Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid look to be in shape. Both have a lot to figure out and are likely to take their sweet time getting there.

With that much quality on display, we should get a few moments of brilliance. However, we’re not sure whether the overall quality of the match would be anything to write home about.

Also Read: Champions League 2020-21: Results and Team of the Week | Matchday 01

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -