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Eyes on Messi, Modric as Real Madrid, Barca clash


Barcelona’s Lionel Messi being tackled by Luka Modric of Real Madrid in a recent La Liga match. They will clash in the El Clasico today

Argentine talisman Lionel Messi, and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric will be the cynosure of all eyes this evening, as Real Madrid and Barcelona clash once again in the race to this year’s LaLiga Santander title.

This is the 178th La Liga match between the two clubs. A win for Real Madrid will bring them back into the battle for Spain’s top honour, while Barca will feel that a victory at the Bernabeu will remove one of their last major hurdles on the path to glory.Barça won 5-1 in the first El Clasico of the season back in October, when Luis Suarez stepped up with a hattrick in the absence of injured Blaugrana captain Messi.

However, a lot has changed on both sides since then, and new Blancos coach Santi Solari and exciting Brazilian starlet Vinicius Junior will be aiming for three points to throw open the LaLiga Santander title race. The teams have clashed in 177 previous La Liga games, with Real Madrid winning 72 as against 71 for Barcelona, while 34 encounters have ended in draws.

The teams will also be more than familiar with each other given that they played two legs of a Copa del Rey tie in the month of February, meaning Real and Barca will have faced each other three times in the space of just under a month.

Luka Modric, the reigning World Player of the Year is the man who makes Real Madrid tick in midfield, using his passing and movement to keep the team constantly on the boil. He’ll have his work cut out against Barcelona’s midfield today.Brazilian attacker, Vinicius Junior, regarded as a young Cristiano Ronaldo in the making, is already a favourite of the ‘Los Blancos’ fans. He would make himself even more popular with the Bernabeu faithful if he can inspire a victory over Real’s hated rivals from Catalonia.

On the other hand, Messi, the Argentine master scored his 50th career hattrick last weekend and will come into ‘El Clasico’ in great form. He has haunted Real Madrid many times over the past decade and will look to inspire Barcelona to a potentially decisive La Liga win today. Gerard Pique Barcelona is not just about free-flowing football, they also have one of the better defensive records in La Liga this season, where centre-back Gerard Pique will be a key figure as they look to keep a clean sheet at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

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