Even though I am biased by default (I’m a Featured Columnist for FC Barcelona and Senior Editor @Barca Blaugranes) I will try to give a realistic prediction for the Clasico. Now, some fanatics, trolls and haters (you know who you are) will use my own words against me. But then again, I’m a Culé somebody would’ve pointed that out.
Although my preference is well-known, I don’t have the tendency to sugar coat the shortcomings of the Blaugrana. I love FC Barcelona, but that doesn’t mean I have to hate Real Madrid. To be quite honest, I feel indifferent about the Merengues. My interest in them goes only as far as the league table.
I wrote my share of Madrid-related articles, but I hardly wrote any anti-Madrid pieces. If anything, I think my articles have been very well-received by my “sworn enemies." Having written this self-absorbed and egocentric introduction, I will come to the point and give my prediction for the Clasico.
As far I as can tell Jose Mourinho did an impeccable job in making Real Madrid a more cohesive unit. However, Florentino’s Galacticos 2.0 haven’t faced a strong opponent yet aside from AC Milan. With all due respect to Altetic Blibao, the Basque side is rather renowned for its physical prowess than cultivated game play, while Atletico Madrid have made it a habit of losing against their crosstown rivals.
However, the Merengues are scoring relatively freely, and the goals are spread throughout the team, which means they are more than just CR7 + 10 others. But while CR may be in fantastic form, he usually underperforms against FC Barcelona especially in the Camp Nou. The same can be said of Gonzalo Higuain. Personally I rate him among the top strikers, but his big game temper is almost non-existent.
Taking all into consideration, I assume that Real Madrid will sit deep and employ the same counter-attack tactics that Inter Milan employed against Barcelona. I’m not the biggest advocate of parking the bus, but I have to concede that it is a legitimate tactic, though not exactly the kind of football you associate with one of football’s traditional attacking teams.
Besides, when a Madrid player made a prediction regarding the Clasico (or any other big game), they were proven wrong. Marcelo and Drenthe foresaw a victory in 2009, only to be humiliated in the Bernabeu 2-6.
Sergio Ramos couldn’t keep his mouth shut when he expected a 3-0 victory against Lyon in the Champions League; we all know where Lisandro Lopez headed after the game. CR7 himself predicted a victory at home earlier this year, but the outcome was a 0-2 defeat at the hands, or better yet feet, of Lionel Messi and Xavi.
If the pattern holds, and I’m counting on it, the very bold prediction of Mesut Özil (a victory in the Camp Nou) should play in our favor. Being a newcomer to the Clasico and the tense atmosphere of the Camp Nou, he should’ve known better than to make bold predictions. A couple of months ago Barca were his favorite club…funny how things work out.
Still, if anyone I expect Özil or Xabi Alonso to score the sole goal for the Merengues, with the final score line being 2-1 for FC Barcelona. I also tip Lionel Messi and David Villa to get on the score sheet.