As Saturday gets closer, the tensions are once again on the rise. Barcelona will welcome Real Madrid at the Camp Nou tomorrow afternoon for the first El Clásico of the season. Often, these types of matches can decide much more than just who gets the all-important three points in the eternal race.
Mundo Deportivo even talk about the crisis in the capital, highlighting once again that Zinedine Zidane’s job may depend on getting a result against the Blaugrana.
Real Madrid have lost two of their last games, one against Cádiz in the league and the other against Shakhtar in Europe. So it’s safe to say that they are not exactly arriving in their best moment. The tensions are high, the paper states, and there’s a lot at stake here.
Ronald Koeman, on the other hand, is optimistic ahead of his first El Clásico. The team is in a good place even though there are still issues to be ironed out.
Of course, their biggest advantage is that they have the ‘King of Clásicos‘, as SPORT call Lionel Messi.
Without a doubt, the Argentine is the most decisive player of the Barça-Madrid rivalry. The Catalans’ captain has played 43 games since 2005 with a balance of 19 victories, 26 goals and 14 assists. And for Barcelona to keep winning these matches, he’ll have to be at his very best.
Elsewhere, Jordi Alba is on the road to recovery but even though he could make the squad tomorrow, it’s unlikely he starts the clash.
Dembélé is expected to start against Ferencváros after impressive Osasuna display
Ronald Koeman is well aware of the limitations concerning Ousmane Dembélé. The Frenchman is an incredible asset and a highly talented player. However, he is also injury prone and Barcelona can’t afford to use him relentlessly.
For that reason, the young winger has been on the bench for the last couple of games despite performing on a regularly high level whenever chosen to play. According to a new report from SPORT, however, Dembélé is expected to start Barcelona’s upcoming Champions League clash against Ferencváros.
This is a direct result of another encouraging performance just the other night against Osasuna. The Frenchman came off the bench and even scored a great goal before it was ruled offside. We’ve also seen him play at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium against Atlético Madrid but back then, he sprained his shoulder so Koeman had to be extra careful going into the next games.
But the main thing is that Dembélé is still very much an important part of the squad and offers a unique profile to the coach. For that reason, and seeing how he’s once again 100% fit, everything indicates he’ll be back in the gala XI on Wednesday, as SPORT suggest.
This, needless to say, is a rather encouraging sign for a player who was so close to leaving the club during the summer transfer window.
Long may it continue!