1. Form Real Madrid have won their last five games in all competitions coming into this game meanwhile Barcelona have sloked slow and ponderous in recent weeks. The Catalans have won just twice in their last five games in competitions drawing the other three.
2. Key players returning for Madrid Real Madrid are not always solid when Casemiro is missing in action and his return against Cultural Leonesa in the Copa Del Rey is timely and exactly what is needed. Recall when a certian Casemiro was named man of the match in the second La Liga El Clasico last season when Real Madrid won at Santiago Bernaebu?
Raphael Varene is also training and could provide real back up in the centre of defense. The huge misses are Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Alvaro Morata but the fringe players at Madrid have always stepped up this season which is good news.
3. Barcelona missing key players While Madrid will be happy with their squad, Barcelona are missing Andreas Iniesta; their orchestrator in the center of the park. Andre Gomes has not convinced of late which will be a cause for concern.
Jordi Alba should be missing in action which could be a problem given his importance to Barcelona’s style of play.
4. Barcelona are struggling Forget the missing players, Barcelona are struggling. In the Copa Del Rey they could only come away with a 1 – 1 draw with Hercules. Lionel Messi keeps on bailing them out but for how long? The fringe players aren’t doing enough with Paco Alcacer the most culpable having failed to take the burden off Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
5. Gareth Bale’s absence could be a blessing in disguise Given Madrid’s three man attack of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Bale are undroppable, having Bale absent could be a blessing. With his absence Lucas Vazquez could start on the right and his nack for tracking back could help shackle Neymar and not leave Sergi Roberto exposed.
6. Sergio Busquest is having a crisis of confidence While Barca’s attack is magnificent and have been this season, their midfield have not. Iniesta has been injured twice already and it is showing while Ivan Rakitic is having third season syndrome. However the most alarming of their midfield failure is Busquests who seems to be having a crisis of confidence. He is not sharp and he is not reading the game as most would expect.