Sunday will be a day of dashing experiences for any fan of the game. Barcelona and Real Madrid face-off in another edition of El Clásico with all to play for Les Blaugranes.
Head Coach Ronald Koeman said in a press conference ahead of this exciting match that his side needs to pick up three crucial points to stay in the La Liga race.
Barcelona currently sits in eighth place with only 15 points, accumulating one loss and three draws this season. Unfortunately for Barcelona, their attacking front has not found a goalscorer talisman. Les Blaugranes With a recuperated Ansu Fati and Sergio “Kun” Agüero, Koeman might just have their goalscorer ahead of El Clásico.
Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho could also pitch in their talents and contribute to the team’s efforts to win the game. Both layers will be looking to display impressive performances. Depay has had four goals in eight matches which is not bad for a player of his caliber as he’s also registered two assists. On the other hand, Coutinho scored his first goal for Barcelona in almost a year since he last scored against Osasuna in November. Coutinho will hope that this goal in his tally might be the booster he needs to fulfill his potential.
Following his injury last year, Fati has found the back of the net twice in five games that he’s had minutes. Koeman insisted that the 18-year-old La Masia graduate still needs to find his best form.
“We need to be calm with Ansu Fati and let him fully recover,” said Koeman.
Koeman named a 23-player squad to take on Madrid with youngsters Nico, Gavi, and Balde– all three hoping to play their first El Clásico match. While all three have put in a fantastic performance, it is most likely that everyone except Balde plays.
Koeman is in a tight spot now, considering speculation on his future and the horrendous results in the Champions League, along with some doubtful La Liga performances. Many fans question whether or not he’s the right man for this job.
“I don’t think I or the president should have to answer this every week,” said Koeman when asked about his future with the club. “I feel like I have backing, but I know my future depends on securing results.”
Koeman needs to put the best men in the starting lineup to take advantage while playing at home. Barcelona needs to get those three points if they want to hope for the La Liga title.
Barcelona will need to take advantage of the side’s positive characteristics around the field. Fielding the correct starting eleven should be able to get the job done. He must be wary of any possible injuries that may come out and must act quickly and precisely if he wants to beat Carlo Ancelotti and Madrid.
This is my prediction of who will be on the starting eleven on Sunday.
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Defenders: (From left to right) Alba, Eric García, Gerard Piqué, Oscar Mingueza
Midfielders: (Same format as above) Gavi, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie De Jong
Forwards: (Same format as above) Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, Sergiño Dest
The task will not be easy to accomplish, but this is a good group of players– Koeman must step up to have a game-winning mentality against their direct rivals.