The world has witnessed wars and rivalries between nations, many of which have existed for centuries. This is a truth that most of us have come to terms with and a few have embraced, but for others, these never ending battles, rivalries and wars isn’t fought on the seas, air or on the ground, it is fought on a 100 yard grass field by no less than twenty-two of the most athletic and respected footballers on the face of the earth.
For some sports, rivalries and wars can be traced back decades and some, even centuries. The truly great battles – Mohammed Ali V Joe Frazer, Roger Federer V Rafael Nadal – surpass the sport and in some instances define it. However, there is only one contention that epitomizes centuries of struggle, a nation’s history and in many ways, personifies the strife itself: Step forward, Real Madrid FC V Barcelona FC
As it does nearly every season, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s meeting on Sunday, 22nd of March, 2015 will heavily influence the stretch run towards the La Liga title. Currently, the clubs sit first and second, respectively with a single point the difference between both teams. A win for either team sees them take control of the title race. But, which of these teams will come out on top on Sunday? Let’s consider the following…
How Have The Teams Been Faring?
Barcelona has failed to win just twice in 2015, single goal defeats to Real Sociedad and Malaga, while Real Madrid on the other hand has won just once in its last four games and has five losses since the start of the year with disappointing defeats most notably against Atletico Madrid and Schalke as they conceded four goals in both matches. Barcelona’s 6-1 win over Rayo Vallecano on the 8th of March combined with Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Atletic Bilbao the previous day, saw Barca take over at the top of La Liga for the first time since November. While Real Madrid goes through turmoil, nearly losing its comfortable lead after the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 to a much younger and less experienced Schalke side, Barcelona seems to have hit top gear with impressive wins against Eibar and Manchester City.
The Players… MSN V. BBC
In the first half of the season Real Madrid’s superiority was summed up with the brilliance of thir front three: Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo popularly reffered to as BBC. They had a firm grip on the the league and won both the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Championship with ease.
The star trio bagged 57 goals over Madrid’s 28 games before the winter break. At a combined rate of 2.41 goals per game, they were sending out a serious title warning grabbing 22 consecutive wins in the process, that providing testament to their effect as a threesome (yes, threesome :)). But their form since thee break has been nowhere near convincing. They are down a goal per game in their combined goal per game average to 1.3. That fall has been replicated in Madrid’s results, with 5 defeats in 16 games with the most recent being a humiliaing defeat at Schalke. Will they be able to get over their dip in form before tomorrow’s game?
Barcelona on the other hand have benefitted from far greater consistency from their attacking trio bagging 40 goals between them and that leaves us with an average of 2.3 goals per game. Unlike their Clasico rivals, Barcelona’s star trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar popularly referred to as MSN have turned on the style in 2015 scoring 42 more propelling the Blaugrana to the Liga table summit, the final of the Copa Del Rey and most recently past Manchester City(in impressive fashion) into the quarter finals of the continent’s biggest competition. Even in assists, MSN have racked up 24 assists compared to BBC’s 7, meaning their interplay is directly resulting in more goals for one another.
It seems inevitable that the match will be decided by one of these great men ^.^ and certainly all the statistics would be out the window during the 90 minutes in which the match is being played. Matches aren’t won on paper, Lionel Messi, yesterday warned his teammates to flee from complacency, a clear sign that he is more than aware of the threat that his opponents pose.
Who’s your money on? The High Flying Blaugrana or The Wounded Real Madrid? For me, It’s 50-50!
In other news, Harry Kane is a G! The young English striker scored a hat trick in Tottenham’s win over Leicester City. He is now top of the EPL scoring charts with 19 goals and is the third highest goal scorer behind Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in Europe with 29 goals
Oliver Giroud did more than look good in Arsenal’s 2-0 over Newcastle in which he scored both goals.
Fernando Torres SCORED today in Atletico’s win over city rivals Getafe.
Efemena Iluezi-Ogbaudu scored 4 goals and assisted another 😀