Barcelona and Real Madrid to battle for Liga F dominance on Sunday

Real Madrid's Spanish defender Ivana Andres fights for the ball with Barcelona's Norwegian forward Caroline Graham Hansen during the UWCL match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 30, 2022. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The historical Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium will be the scenery for the next big encounter between two of the best squads in the world right now. Barcelona are hosts to Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will face each other this Sunday, November 19th, at noon. El Clásico is always a riveting game, but this time around, the stakes are even higher. The Merengues are only merely three points away from the Blaugranas’ lead in la Liga F. It is the first time they are this close, and they are not losing sight of that desired number-one spot.

Barcelona

The defending Champions League winners come from a very comfortable win against Benfica on Tuesday. Barça’s two Ballon d’Or winners, Aitana Bonmatí and Alexia Putellas, put two goals in the net each. That, plus a magnificent bicycle kick from Asisat Oshoala, made it for a comfortable 5-0 to the local side.

The only downside to Tuesday’s victory is the potentially concerning state of Alexia’s knee. Putellas had to be substituted shortly after the second half started. She felt some discomfort in the same area where she had her intervention done a year and a half ago. Precautionarily, she did not practice on Thursday morning with the team, so it is uncertain if she will be fit to play on Sunday. She joins centre-back Irene Paredes in the infirmary, who has been out due to tonsillitis. The Basque defender is also a question mark for the weekend.

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Real Madrid

On the other hand, on Wednesday, Madrid struggled against one of the strongest candidates to bring home this year’s European title, Chelsea FC. The game ended in a very controversial tie (2-2). Captain Olga Carmona and goalkeeper Misa led the team against the Blues, keeping them from taking three valuable points from Alfredo Di Stéfano.

Madrid counts with its full squad fit to face the Culés, only excluding Caroline Weir and Carla Camacho. Both are out long-term after touring their ACLs earlier in the season.

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Final thoughts

Barcelona has never lost a game against Real Madrid since the White’s foundation in 2014. However, the Blaugranas and their coach, Jonatan Giráldez, know not to rely on past stats. In his pregame interview, Giráldez declared that el Clásico is “a day we have marked down in our calendar” due to its significance.

No matter the outcome, we can expect the game to be a thrilling 90 minutes of back-and-forths and scoring chances. The stadium will be a packed house ready to enjoy a good football match and it is for sure that no team will be giving up the victory rather easily.

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