Guillem Balague looks ahead to Sunday’s El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The two teams are separated by just one point at the top of the La Liga table, yet their respective forms and performances of late couldn’t be further apart,
Barcelona head in to the encounter as arguably the best team in the world currently and with a real possibility of completing the campaign as multiple trophy winners.
The dangerous forward trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and the world’s best player on form Lionel Messi have helped the Catalans to 17 wins in 19 encounters since the turn of the year.
Madrid, on the other hand, previously underwent a club record 22-game win streak in all competitions but over the past two months their form has been in contrast quite disastrious.
They’ve not played too often recently, but embarrassing losses at Atletico Madrid and later to Schalke 04 prompted jeers from the Santiago Bernabeu crowd and heavy criticism from within the Spanish media.
Nevertheless, their rapid counterattacking football has caused Barca problems in the past and Balague feels despite being under immense pressure Los Blancos will return to Madrid with a vital victory.
“The problem with Real Madrid is that in the last four weeks they have nearly always only played one game per week and that has made a difference because Real Madrid like the urgency of playing two games a week,” Balague explained.
“It has worked against them as they have taken advantage of the rest to rest their minds and their physique and it takes them a while to switch on in games. They did it better against Levante but couldn’t maintain it for 90 minutes.”
“Sometimes players will tell you it is better to play two games in a week. Still, I can see Real Madrid winning as they have more need for it.”