Second edition of El Clasico Saturday – but does it matter?

The second edition of El Clasico for the 2015-16 season is coming up this Saturday between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, but with Barcelona up 10 points on third place Madrid, and nine poinits clear of second place Atletico Madrid, does this match mean anything? Is Real Madrid playing for anything more than pride?

The answers are yes, and yes.

For the first question, this edition is the first for Zinedine Zidane as the head honcho for Real Madrid. Therefore Saturday will be crucial for setting the tone for the rest of his tenure as manager of Madrid and to test his practices against the highest quality opponent he has yet faced.

Saturday’s match also will be key in providing momentum heading into their Champions League quarterfinal match up four days later with German side Wolfsburg. There has been a long layoff, with many players going away on international duty, and as a consequence it could be difficult to find the form that they showed against Sevilla two weeks ago when they knifed through them 4-0 at the Bernabeu. Adding to their troubles will be playing in a hostile environment at the Camp Nou, although nearly everyone in Madrid’s starting XI has played at least two clasicos by now, so they should not be fazed by what awaits them.

Addressing the second question, this game is ever important for Madrid because it is very likely that both teams will face each other again in Champions League play, either in the semifinal or final. Real Madrid should be able to get past Wolfsburg, and with the way they have been playing this year, no one can stop Barcelona. To prepare for that event, this game is key to evening the mental edge that Barcelona surely possesses over Real at this point after their 4-0 drubbing of los blancos on their home turf earlier this season.

Let’s see how inspired and cohesive Madrid comes out on Saturday. They only have one trophy within their grasp, and although this match won’t directly affect their chances of obtaining it, it will affect their chances nonetheless.


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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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