La Liga 2023-24: First El Clasico For Barca And Real's New Stars, Joao Felix And Jude Bellingham - Eastern Mirror
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La Liga 2023-24: First El Clasico for Barca and Real’s new stars, Joao Felix and Jude Bellingham

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By IANS Updated: Oct 27, 2023 7:24 pm
El Clasico
Photo: IANS

MADRID (SPAIN) — Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet this Saturday in the first El Clasico of the season with the head-to-head record so finely balanced and new stars ready to take on the mantle.

With the two giants clashing for the 255th time in official competitions, Real Madrid have won 102 encounters while Barcelona claimed 100 and in the remaining 52 they have drawn.

This is a historic rivalry that goes back more than 100 years and that will be experienced, for the first time, by talented summer signings like João Félix, Jude Bellingham, Kepa Arrizabalaga and João Cancelo.

Without forgetting the impressive start to the season of Girona FC, the main prize at stake in this game is the potential to finish the matchday as the leader of La Liga. That only adds to the usual tension that comes with this match.

On Saturday, the latest El Clasico will be played in a new setting, at the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc, given that Los Azulgrana’s usual home ground, Camp Nou, is currently being redeveloped. As such, this rivalry will move to a new stadium, similar to what occurred when the match was played at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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JOAO FELIX

Both teams have made a strong start to the season, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid taking 25 points and Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona collecting 24 in the 10 games played so far, La Liga India informed in a release on Friday.

The side from the capital city comes into the clash on the back of a draw against Sevilla FC, while the Catalan outfit managed to overcome Athletic Club in the final minutes in another thrilling game last matchday.

Barca have yet to lose at their new stadium and have won all five LALIGA EA SPORTS matches they have played at Montjuïc, living up to the nickname of this being a magic mountain. Los Blancos will be keen to break that streak and get back to winning ways at their opponents’ stadium. Last season, Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 defeat in the away ElClasico in league play, but they won 2-1 and 3-1 respectively when visiting FC Barcelona in 2021/22 and 2020/21.

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JUDE BELLINGHAM

In terms of absentees, Xavi will be without the injured Frenkie de Jong and Jules Koundé, while Real Madrid have been without Thibaut Courtois and Éder Militão all season due to serious knee injuries. Although those are significant losses for both coaches in ElClasico, these players can be replaced by other top talents.

Real Madrid have the competition’s top scorer, in England’s Jude Bellingham, who has scored eight goals to start the season and who will go up against last season’s Pichichi (top scorer), Robert Lewandowski, who has already netted five this term. Those two world-class stars will be joined by others such as Vinícius, João Félix, Rodrygo and Ferran Torres, all of whom will be targeting a goal in ElClasico.

Between the posts, they’ll face two giants in Marc-André ter Stegen and Kepa Arrizabalaga. Meanwhile, the defensive lines will be marshalled by Ronald Araújo and Antonio Rüdiger. There is also so much talent in the midfield, where Gavi, Eduardo Camavinga, İlkay Gündoğan, Fede Valverde and co. will get to work. On top of that, this fixture brings together two top coaches, who boast the brains and experience to succeed in this type of top-level scenario. This is ElClasico, with new faces but with all the importance and weight of the history of both these shirts.

Also read: Champions League: Haaland scores brace as City beat Young Boys to extend perfect record; PSG topples Milan

6091
By IANS Updated: Oct 27, 2023 7:24:45 pm
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