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Key areas Real Madrid should focus to exploit against FC Barcelona | La Liga 2022/23


FC Barcelona in the current season looks like a completely different team compared to last year with new star signings like Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessié, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde.

Compared to last year where we saw La Masia graduates Pedri, Gavi, Fati and a few more just spreading their wings in top-flight football, each one of them is now more experienced and there is a good connection between the youngsters and the veterans – Busquets, Pique and Alba – in their side.

And with a striker so lethal in the box, the tactics of Barca under Xavi have also seen quite a few changes and focus quite a lot on early and byline crosses into the box these days.

After a rather humiliating result in the El Clasico last season, where Carlo and his boys conceded four goals against the relatively young team of FC Barcelona in the absence of the main man – Karim Benzema, let’s take a look at how things shape up going into the El Clasico this year.

Dealing with the new threat in town – Robert Lewandowski

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We all know how lethal Lewandowski can be in the box. A man who does not need to look around and is all waiting like a predator in the box will not leave any opportunity to make a difference.

The key would be in isolating Robert and cutting off all deliveries into the box. Real Madrid although have looked vulnerable against defending set pieces last season, but with new additions to the squad like Tchouameni and Rudiger, that department now certainly seems secured.

Mendy and Carvajal will also be really important to block the progress of players like Dembele, Raphinha and Jordi Alba down the flank. If the backline can ensure Barcelona players don’t find their teammates onto the end of crosses and can also play the offside rule well, it would be much easier to keep the scoreline at bay.

Battle in the middle of the park

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It can be expected that Xavi will be trusting the midfield he has been using in recent games, that of – Pedri, Busquets and Gavi.

Pedri’s creativity, Gavi’s aggression and work rate and Busquet’s impeccable role as a pivot can cause problems if not dealt with properly. Tchouameni will have to play an important role in breaking the play and defending both crosses and set pieces.

After the controversial play of Modric as a striker in the last El Clasico, we can expect him to drop a performance which will be quite memorable. the third midfielder be it Kroos or Valverde, as long as he gets those passes right and plays as a unit in the pressing phase, things can be expected to go in Madrid’s way in the midfield

The duo that can decide the game

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Playing in his current form, Vinicius looks as lethal as ever and would most certainly be a huge goal threat if Xavi doesn’t get his men behind Vini. Be it Balde or Roberto, as long as Benzema and Mendy move along with Vinicius and help him breakthrough, a goal is bound to come sooner or later.

And in case Xavi makes Ronald Araújo mark Vinicius like last season, it would still be important to play down the left flank as in this case Araujo, the main man in their defence would not be there to mark Karim Benzema when he arrives in the box.

Added to this, the creativity of Rodrygo or Valverde, whoever stays on the right side would also be really important as the 32-year-old Jordi Alba might find it difficult to bear with the pace of those two.

As long Carlo doesn’t change his tactics in the offence and lets the trio do their job and play like they do with the telekinetic connection, it would be a joy to watch how things would proceed in the grand El Clasico this weekend.


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