The Champions League Semifinal Between Real Madrid and Barcelona May Be Xavi’s Best Chance To Recover.
Sunday’s El Clasico presents Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez with the ideal opportunity for his team to bounce back from a disappointing Champions League loss against Inter Milan.
The inquest has begun into the events of Wednesday night, which leave Barcelona’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages hanging by a thread, but there is very little time to dwell on that disappointment.At 3.15 p.m. UK time on Sunday, Real Madrid hosts Barcelona with the intention of adding salt to the wounds. On goal differential, Barca leads La Liga ahead of Madrid, with both teams having 22 points.
What effects did the Inter outcome have?
The papers were forthright. This, according to Marca, is the worst aspect about Barcelona. “With this defence, Barcelona won’t advance in Europe at all.”
Although it is possible to argue that Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin, and Ronald Araujo were injured or unable to play on Wednesday, the vulnerability they left behind was brutally exposed by Inter Milan, forcing Barcelona to play snooker in order to keep itself out of the Europa League.There are still two matchweeks left, and Spain’s outlook for the team’s chances of moving on is rather bleak. In light of Inter’s stronger head-to-head record against Barcelona, a win for the Italians over the bottom-dwellers Viktoria Plzen would guarantee their elimination from the group.As claimed that failing to advance to the knockout stages would cost the club at least £18 million in its lead headline on Thursday, “On the brink of a calamity.” The theme is continued by Sport, who says Barcelona is “pray[ing] for a miracle.”
Only Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s heroics with what was essentially the game’s final kick kept them from being eliminated.
Despite the fact that the prognosis has been much better domestically this season, it is far from a perfect lead-up to this weekend’s Clasico.For the first time since taking over, Xavi has received criticism, and the players, “Alvaro Montero, a Spanish football player, says Sky Sports. ” Sergi Roberto, Sergi Busquets, and Gerard Pique were chosen by Xavi as players who were significant four to five years ago.
However, it seems these players are no longer as significant as they once were. The match served as a championship for the supporters, who were reminded of the match against Inter Milan in 2010 (and Jose Mourinho’s controversial celebration as he lifted the trophy in the final at the Santiago Bernabeu) as well as the recent loss at the San Siro.Xavi is not currently under any strain. The club’s sentiment is that they want him to stay, but if they don’t go to the next round of the Champions League, there will be a serious financial problem. They put in a lot of work over the summer with the expectation that they would advance from this group, but they won’t be making nearly as much money in the Europa League.
Is Barcelona prepared to withstand the pressure?
According to Xavi, his team must devote all of their concentration to the next Clasico and cannot afford to brood over the draw with Inter.
Although Barcelona outplayed Inter early on, they fell behind 3-2 in the dying seconds before Robert Lewandowski’s injury-time equaliser ensured a draw.
The issue, argues Montero, “is that the group is not yet good enough to perform under this kind of strain.” “Dynamo Kiev, Viktoria Plzen, and Ferencvaros are the only regular teams Barcelona has defeated in the past ten Champions League games.They have had one win, three losses, and two ties in the Champions League under Xavi. Seven losses in 13 games is their worst winning streak in European competition.
Barcelona earned a point thanks to a pair of late goals from Robert Lewandowski, whose form gives the team hope as they travel to the Spanish capital.
Lewandowski leads La Liga in goals scored with nine, but he needs help from others around him.
How significant would a victory this weekend be?
It would be a stretch to even consider Barcelona’s victory over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan this season as their most notable accomplishment given the Andalusian club’s well-known issues, who are now down in the relegation zone after parting ways with Julen Lopetegui.
“You have to keep in mind that Barcelona won 4-0 at the Bernabeu not too long ago,” Montero continues. “Although there are no favourites in these Clasico games, Madrid is in a good place right now.
“Real has had much more success playing consistently good than Barcelona has, but Real is mentally tougher and has more experience with these kinds of situations.Everything depends on how Barcelona handles the loss against Inter. Either a resounding defeat or a slim victory is possible. In no way would I be shocked.
How has Real fared after losing Casemiro?
Tchouameni is occupying Casemiro’s former defensive midfield position and is almost always starting. At Real, there is a perception that Casemiro made a grave error by quitting the team since Tchouameni was more valued for the future than for the present.
Perhaps he isn’t Casemiro, but he has been performing admirably. It appears like Casemiro joined Manchester United in exchange for a sizable sum of money and the opportunity to play in the Premier League, but he has yet to truly demonstrate his abilities.
“Despite the fact that many fans believed Casemiro was crucial to the team’s balance, Real are performing better than anticipated without him. However, they haven’t faced significant setbacks or issues without him.
Is Rudiger still a possibility as the top pick?
Tuesday’s 1-1 tie between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk was saved by defender Antonio Rudiger, who also qualified the team for the Champions League knockout round.
Although the German defender heroically crouching to score received a nasty gash to the head, according to Montero, he was still not expected to start El Clasico before the Warsaw injury.
“He hasn’t been in every lineup, so I’m not sure if he will play despite the injury. Eder Militao and David Alaba have been paired in defence, with Ferland Mendy playing left wing.
“After the draw with Shakhtar, his eye was fully closed.It will be an incredible clash because Alaba is familiar with Lewandowski, a former teammate at Bayern Munich.