Player for Player: “El Clasico’s” Key Battles

Xabi Alonso vs Xavi

 On his return from suspension, Xabi Alonso will almost certainly be the man in the Madrid midfield set with the task of suffocating Xavi’s influence in pulling the strings in the Barca side. Alonso has been in brilliant form since his switch from Liverpool last summer, and will have to shut down his Spanish teammate’s passing avenues to the front men, and in particular Lionel Messi, if Real are to stand any chance of winning the game.

 Marcelo vs Lionel Messi

 The Brazilian Marcelo is the unfortunate full back in Spain assigned with Mission Impossible this weekend, up against the man for whom currently no superlative can do justice. Lionel Messi is top scorer in both La Liga and the Champion’s League this season, and in the unlikely event that Marcelo can stop the world player of the year from adding to his tally, he will need the rest of Madrid’ rearguard to be at top of their games to keep out the Catalan club’s wealth of attacking talent

 Gonzalo Higuain vs Gerard Pique

 Just behind Messi in the scoring charts, is his Argentine counterpart Gonzalo Higuain. Higuain has been one of Real Madrid’s most consistent performers this season, their Mr.Dependable, with a goal a game ratio in La Liga, and three assists. Pique’s defensive performances have been equally impressive, and he will fancy his chances of keeping Higuain quiet once more, just as he did when the two sides met back in November.

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3 responses to “Player for Player: “El Clasico’s” Key Battles

  1. Good stuff mate. Just one thing, Marcelo hasn’t played full back for Real all season, hence his markedly improved form! He’s played as a defensive minded left midfielder instead, and its almost certain that Arbeloa will play left back against Messi just like he did at the Nou Camp earlier this year, as the common perception in Spain is that right-footed full backs do much better against Messi than left-footed ones do (as apparently proved by Ferreira in last year’s semi-final).

  2. Hi Joe

    Read your post on Red Issue about the blog site so checked it out……very impressive. I’m a Barca fan and it’s really difficult to find well put together blogs/articles about Spanish football in English. Most of the decent stuff out there is translated from Spanish and just doesn’t sound right, so your blogs are a blessing for me!

    Even though I am a Barca fan and my head and heart are all things Blaugrana, I like the fact that the blogs aren’t written in favour of any one team, and that you clearly have a balanced opinion.

    I’m going to be checking the site out for your new blogs all the time, so keep them coming! Good luck with your degree as well!

    Mike

  3. Thanks for reading lads, I will be updating it with a couple of posts tonight, and will include all the highlights of the weekends action as usual.

    Cheers for pointing out the Marcelo mistake. I completly forgot about Arbeloa and having watched last night’s game it confirms to me that it doesn’t really make any difference who plays.

    Hope you keep reading and enjoy the posts.

    Joe

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