real Madrid take on FC Barcelona in the El Clasico derby ~ above Sunday. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP) ... <+> (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty photos

It is still, arguably, the best domestic match in world soccer. On Sunday, Barcelona organize Real Madrid in El Clásico, the derby which watch the two titans that Spanish soccer go head come head.

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This is quiet a large draw, with an worldwide audience in the hundreds of millions expected. However it arrives at a time as soon as neither club is in ~ the top of the game.

Here are five things to know around Sunday"s El Clásico.

Neither society is in a great place

In the previous three matches, genuine Madrid has lost come Espanyol and Sheriff Tiraspol. FC Barcelona, in its previous three, has lost convincingly at Benfica and also Atlético Madrid, critical season"s La Liga champion. The is at an early stage days in the season but, currently, real Madrid is three points behind La Liga leader genuine Sociedad and also FC Barcelona trails by five points.

Financially, FC Barcelona is looking up at a hill of debt worth $1.57 billion. In the summer, the society was compelled to allow its star player Lionel Messi, widely taken into consideration the best player in history, leaving for Paris Saint-Germain. Points are less dire at Madrid, whereby the summer"s biggest worry was gift unable to sign Kylian Mbappe (at least for now). Yet for a club which likes come think of itself as not only among the best, however the finest in the world, it currently looks favor an underwhelming season is ahead.

no Sergio Ramos no one Lionel Messi will certainly play in this weekend"s fixtures. The pair are now ... <+> teammates at PSG. (Photo by point of view Martinez/Getty Images)

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The midfield fight will be an essential

Sergio Busquets will likely be in fee of marshaling a Barcelona midfield 3 with Frenkie De Jong and also another promise youngster, Gavi. The 17-year-old has a large amount of ability but will be under huge pressure to perform in his first El Clásico.

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Madrid looks likely start with Casemiro, Luka Modric and also Toni Kroos. It is a trio that seem to have played together forever and Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will certainly be counting on that experience. To victory the midfield battle, the trio will should effectively protect their center backs, while winning enough of the sphere to offer to Los Blancos’s dangerous front line.

Possible derby debuts because that Aguero, Camavinga

Sergio Aguero has actually only controlled three minutes of league action for Barcelona because moving native Manchester City in the summer. He is i can not qualify to begin this match, having just recovered native injury, however could be thrown in in ~ some phase if Barca require a goal. Aguero may be past his best, however he still knows much better than most where the network is.

Eduardo Camavinga, the 18-year-old French midfielder considered one the the best young football player in the world, didn"t begin in Madrid"s 5-0 away win at Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek. Even if Ancelotti opts for endure over youth again though, Camavinga might well be referred to as on because that his debut in this fixture.

Fati Vs. Benzema

Ansu Fati, still only 18, signed a brand-new contract at Barcelona this week until 2027. The deal includes a release i of $1.16 exchange rate – a authorize of how very Barca price him. Fati is simply coming back from a long injury layoff but will be i was sure of troubling a Madrid backline which deserve to be vulnerable against pace.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 04: Ansu Fati that FC Barcelona controls the ball during the La Liga ... <+> Santander match in between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou top top October 04, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Football Stadiums approximately Europe stay empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as federal government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues leading to fixtures gift played behind closeup of the door doors. (Photo through David Ramos/Getty Images)

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Real Madrid, top top the other hand, will have actually Karim Benzema top the line. The French front is 33 and also seems to it is in getting much better with age. The is in sparkling form, through the many goals (9) and also assists (7) in La Liga for this reason far.

Both want to be back among Europe"s best

Barcelona and Real Madrid are both in the champion League, however both would be outside bets to success it. Barcelona, without Messi, is in the middle of a painful transition. Genuine Madrid likewise needs an review of its formation sooner quite than later.

The hazard for these 2 is they space falling behind the English Premier League"s big clubs (particularly Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea). PSG is likewise desperate to win a champions League. And Bayern Munich has actually remained really strong. The Spanish giants have the right to no longer contend financially v Manchester City and PSG, which are efficiently backed by the UAE and also Qatar respectively.

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El Clásico is still a substantial match, yet it is not, currently, between the two height teams in the world.


As a senior Contributor because that, ns write around sports company with a specific focus ~ above the world most well-known sport – soccer (football). My articles cover whatever from financial advances and analytical advancements to interviews with optimal players, club owners and also executives, investors and other amazing figures within the sport. I’ve created for publications consisting of BBC Sport, The Guardian, turn off The Pitch, The Independent, FC Business and SBS The people Game. I also work because that La Liga TV, covering Valencia, Levante UD and Villarreal. Monitor me on Twitter in ~
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