Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo: Barcelona's Strong Forwards Will Garner Win

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVOctober 7, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 22:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (L) celebrates with his teammates Christian Tello and Xavi Hernandez after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granada CF at Camp Nou on September 22, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 2-0.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona has been far-and-away the stronger team so far this season and their chemistry behind star striker Lionel Messi will garner an El Clasico win over Real Madrid Sunday.

To nobody's surprise, Barcelona has been a scoring machine in La Liga play through the beginning of the season. They lead the league with 17 goals, six of which have come off the foot of the Argentinian sensation.

With all due credit to Cristiano Ronaldo, who, I firmly believe, has a head up on Messi in the 'best player in the world' argument, Messi has owned in the head-to-head matchups for the most part. 

Real Madrid has been reeling heading into the season and they still have yet to show their true form in La Liga. This combination has led to their seventh-place ranking in the league, which is absolutely atrocious for Real Madrid's standards.

If Real Madrid falters and loses to their big rivals, it would put them 11 points behind in the standings. Such a deficit would likely prove to be insurmountable for Los Merengues.

Messi has shown the best chemistry with his fellow forwards, while Ronaldo has displayed his unique skill without gelling with his teammates. And with the style of play of both of these teams, chemistry between the forwards is at a premium.

Though the battle between Messi and Ronaldo usually decides this match, it could be decided on the defensive end of the pitch. Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is out with a dislocated elbow, and Gerard Pique is doubtful with an injured foot, meaning we could be seeing a very different line of defense.

Real Madrid started the season with some brand new parts that have still yet to find their true form, as Luka Modric and Michael Essien have not quite enjoyed the type of start to the season that they had expected. 

It will take a bit of time for Jose Mourinho's squad to reach their peak and it's certain that they will. But for now, no one is stopping Barcelona. 

 

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