This Sunday the first Clasico of LaLiga Santander 2022-2023 is played. FC Barcelona visits the Santiago Bernabéu to face Real Madrid, starting at 4:15 p.m. (CEST). The match corresponds to the ninth day of the league championship and, in it, the new sole leader of the classification will be decided (in case they are not tied). Both teams arrive with 19 points, although the Catalans’ goal difference is higher.
Xavi Hernández has a complicated decision ahead of him when it comes to defining the line-up with which Barça will try to ‘assault’ the Bernabéu again, as happened last year (0-4). In defense is where there are more doubts, since despite the fact that the man from Egar has recovered Jules Koundé, the question remains as to whether he will play as a central or right-back after Gerard Piqué’s last ‘sentence’.
Sergi Roberto is another alternative for the band and, for the rest, there are few questions from Xavi. In the line of attack, Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembélé start as undisputed starters, but the other end is yet to be decided. Until now, Raphinha has been a starter in the most important games, but against Inter, beyond the ball that he put up for the first goal, he was unlucky and uncomfortable. Ansu can be the alternative. Next, our forecast of the alignments for the Classic:
Probable alignments for the Real Madrid-FC Barcelona of League
- XI of Real Madrid: Lunin; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Tchouameni, Kroos, Modric; Valverde, Vinicius and Benzema.
- XI of the FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; S. Roberto, Koundé, Eric, Balde; Busquets, Pedri, Gavi; Raphinha, Lewandowski and Dembele.
The Mönchengladbach goalkeeper continues to be one of the most differential points of this Barça. So far in LaLiga he has only conceded one goal and has already gone seven consecutive games unbeaten. Ter Stegen will face a Karim Benzema who wants to return to ‘wet’ after several weeks without seeing a goal, or a Vinícius Jr who is being one of the sensations of Madrid. He will have to be very attentive, in addition, to the long-distance shots of players like Toni Kroos, Luka Modric or Fede Valverde.
The only thing that seems ‘sure’ in Barça’s defense is that Gerard Piqué, except for a last-minute surprise, will remain on the bench. He was very ‘touched’ after the game against Inter and, with the return of Jules Koundé, he will stay with the rest of the substitutes. The Frenchman aims to accompany Eric García in the axis of the defense, while on the wings there are quite a few doubts. Sergi Roberto could repeat ownership on the right, although he will have to defend a very fast Vini Jr. On the left, Alejandro Balde aims to appear, although he could play on a changed foot and leave the position to Marcos Alonso.
In the center of the field is where there are fewer doubts regarding the protagonists, but it is true that Xavi will have to make many tactical changes so that from midfield the culés can dominate the match and generate superiorities, something that did not happen against Inter. In any case, Sergio Busquets is not expected to move as pivot and Gavi and Pedri González as interiors, with the alternatives of Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessié on the bench.
If Xavi decides to bet on what has worked best for him so far, surely the offensive trident will continue to be made up of Raphinha, Lewandowski and Dembélé, although both extremes were very discussed in the last clash of Champions. The Brazilian because he didn’t quite feel comfortable (beyond his pass for 1-0) and the Frenchman sinned by making the wrong decision in almost every one of his opportunities. Lewandowski, on the other hand, aims to be the great danger for the Madrid defense.