Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi looks on during the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Real Valladolid FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 5, 2021. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)La Liga’s El Clásico today promises to be a significant game in the title race. Messi’s Barca go into the clash just a point off the top spot, and two points ahead of a Real Madrid that just beat Liverpool in the Champions League.
Today’s match is no doubt the highlight of the weekend’s global football calendar and fans will miss none of the action as the game will be televised live and in HD on the StarTimes’ Sport Premium channel at 8.00 p.m., as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts La Liga matches throughout the continent as well as Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and the coming UEFA Euro 2020.
Today’s home side, Real Madrid has a slight advantage in the statistics, having won 74 of the 181 previous matches, while Barcelona won 72, with 35 endings in a draw.
Due to COVID regulations, the match will be played in the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, which normally hosts games of the Real Madrid reserve side that campaigns in the Segunda División B, which is the third tier of Spanish football.
Both sides have several injury worries ahead of their 182nd La Liga clash.
Against Liverpool, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had to make do without captain Sergio Ramos, who has played in more El Clásico matches – 45 – than any other player.
Ramos’ central defensive partner Raphael Varane will definitely be out of the game as he has tested positive for the Covid virus and will be forced to quarantine.
Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard were also unavailable against Liverpool and are likely to miss the clash against Barcelona.
Barcelona, who needed a last-gasp goal from Ousmane Dembele to beat lowly Valladolid 1-0 on Monday, will probably be without inspirational Gerard Pique today.
But despite all the absences, there are still plenty of stars that will feature in the game, with Barcelona having the likes of Lionel Messi, Frenkie De Jong, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann, and young American Sergino Dest, while Real can count on Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Luca Modric – amongst others.
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