Real Madrid vs Barcelona LaLiga Final Football Match 2023
Barcelona were knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United in the playoff stage last month, but they have already lifted the Spanish Super Cup this season and are chasing two more trophies, including the Copa del Rey, where Real Madrid are also standing in their way of success. The Catalan outfit have a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final, with the second leg set to take place at Camp Nou at the start of April. Barcelona suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Almeria in the league at the end of February, but they have won their last two in the league – both 1-0 – against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao. Blaugrana also have the best home record in Spain’s top flight this season, picking up 32 points from 12 matches courtesy of a record of 10 wins and two defeats.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are still on for a treble this season, booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday night courtesy of a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Bernabeu. Carlo Ancelotti’s side beat last season’s finalists 6-2 on aggregate to comfortably progress to the final eight, where they will meet more Premier League opposition in the shape of Chelsea. Real Madrid are certainly underdogs in La Liga at this stage of the season, while they have work to do in their Copa del Rey semi-final, but a victory on Sunday would cut the gap to six points on the same number of matches (26), which certainly sounds a lot better than 12.
Los Blancos last lost in the league against Mallorca at the start of February, while they drew with Atletico Madrid and Real Betis before recording a 3-1 victory over Espanyol at Bernabeu last weekend. Real Madrid’s away form this season has been strong, picking up 28 points from 13 matches, while they have dominated the recent league meetings between the two sides, winning five of their last six in Spain’s top flight. Barcelona have not actually beaten Real Madrid at Camp Nou in La Liga since October 2018, while Los Blancos were 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture at Bernabeu earlier this season.
Barcelona had initially been hopeful of having Ousmane Dembele available for this match, but it has come too soon, with the France international still out for the hosts due to a hamstring issue. Pedri had been expected to return from a hamstring problem of his own, with the midfielder proving his fitness last week after sitting out the team’s last six matches in all competitions, but he suffered discomfort in training on Friday and has therefore been left out.
Ronald Araujo is also available after missing the clash with Athletic last weekend through suspension, and the Uruguay international will come into the starting side for this match. Alejandro Balde is expected to be given the nod over Jordi Alba at left-back, while Gavi is likely to be pushed further forward to join Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski in attack.
As for Real Madrid, David Alaba remains on the sidelines with a hamstring issue, while Alvaro Rodriguez is suspended for the visitors in El Clasico. Ferland Mendy was back on the bench against Liverpool after recovering from a hamstring problem, while Karim Benzema is fit despite being forced off in the Champions League last-16 second leg following a knock. Ancelotti has decisions to make in midfield, and it seems likely that Toni Kroos will be the player to miss out, with Aurelien Tchouameni expected to come back into the side. Nacho should keep hold of his starting role at left-back, with Federico Valverde featuring alongside Benzema and Vinicius Junior in the front three for the reigning champions.
One of the biggest fixtures on the football calendar will take place at Camp Nou on Sunday evening, with La Liga leaders Barcelona welcoming second-placed Real Madrid for El Clasico. Real Madrid are nine points behind Barcelona in the table ahead of this contest, so a victory for the home side would see them take a huge step towards winning their first La Liga title since 2019. Barcelona have had to watch Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid win the La Liga title in the last three seasons, but the Catalan outfit are currently in a commanding position at the top of the table, boasting a nine-point advantage over the reigning champions heading into the next El Clasico. Xavi’s side have hardly missed a step in the league this season, winning 21 of their 25 matches, drawing twice and suffering two defeats, while they have only conceded eight La Liga goals all campaign, which is a stunning record at this stage of proceedings.