Spanish Football The key to the Clasico
Barcelona and Real Madrid meet at the Camp Nou on Saturday in the first Clasico of the 2020/21 season in LaLiga Santander. Neither team are in particularly good form going into the match, having both lost their previous league fixture last weekend.
On the tactical side, MBP School have analysed the three keys that could determine where the match will be won and lost in Catalonia.
Key 1: Positional play
In this sense, Real Madrid and Barcelona players will be looking to provide the ball carrier with options from a variety of angles while in possession.
For Real Madrid, Casemiro is often the player that drops short to receive the ball or drag an opponent with him, creating space for others. Then there’s the full-back who can offer support out wide and the attacking midfielder who can find space in pockets.
As for Barcelona, their two holding midfielders in their 4-2-3-1 formation tend to split to allow the ball-carrying defender to thread a pass through to the No.10 or false nine.
Key 2: Use of inside space
In this area, both teams are similar in the ways they occupy inside space in the middle of the park, although there are subtle differences.
For example, left-back Ferland Mendy is often the player to move into these inside positions for Real Madrid while, for Barcelona, Messi does that job.
Key 3: Opening up passing lanes
To finish, the last tactical aspect to analyse comes in the form of players moving aside to create passing channels, allowing their team to move through the lines.
Casemiro is in charge of doing this at Real Madrid, attaching himself to the opposing central midfielder to unsettle him and open up spaces for his teammates.
Ronald Koeman gives De Jong this responsibility at Barcelona, but the Dutch midfielder is often found moving into the full-back positions to create gaps in midfield for passes to go through.
In conclusion, the three key aspects of the two teams’ tactical games are: creating diverse options for the player on the ball, filling inside spaces in midfield and opening up passing lanes.
Whichever team is able to execute their respective game plan the most effective way on Saturday is, you’d expect, the team most likely to come away from the Camp Nou with the points.