We are facing one of the toughest El Clásicos in years with both teams in great form and with some of the best players in the world. Real Madrid is leading the league and have been playing football on a really high level lately, and while there seem to be reasons to be afraid for tonight’s game, there are also many reasons to be confident.
Here are the ten reasons listed by the official site that point towards a Blaugrana victory.
- On Monday it’ll be 936 days since Madrid last beat Barça, on May 7, 2008. Since then, Barça have become the first team to win four clásicos in a row.
- In the last 27 league clásicos at the Camp Nou, Barça have won 18 times, drawing 7 times and only losing twice.
- José Mourinho has never won at the Camp Nou. He came here three times with Chelsea and twice with Inter, getting two draws and losing three times.
- No coach has yet beaten Pep Guardiola twice in official matches … and Mourinho is one of the few who has managed it just once. The 12 that share that honour with the Portuguese coach are Maciej Skorza (Wisla Krakow, 1-0), Sergio Kresic (Numancia, 1-0), Mircea Lucescu (Shakhtar Donetsk, 2-3), Mauricio Pochetino (Espanyol, 1-2), Abel Resino (Atlético Madrid, 4-3), Gregorio Manzano (Mallorca, 2-1), José Antonio Camacho (Osasuna, 0-1), Kurban Berdyev (Rubin Kazan, 1-2), Manolo Jiménez (Sevilla, 1-2), Quique S. Flores (Atlético Madrid, 2-1), Antonio Álvarez (Sevilla, 3-1) and Esteban Vigo (Hercules, 0-2).
- Guardiola’s three home defeats in the Liga have always been against low-ranked teams: Espanyol (bottom), Osasuna (facing relegation) and Hercules (recently promoted).
- Cristiano Ronaldo has not scored in five games against Barça. He faced FCB three times with Manchester United (including the final in Roma) and twice with Madrid.
- Leo Messi has scored in ten consecutive games, nine for Barça and one for Argentina.
- This is the best ever start to a league season under Guardiola, nine wins, one draw and one loss.
- The home side are flying up their own private ‘Tourmalet’ of home games. They have beaten Valencia (2-1), then Sevilla (5-0) and Villarreal (3-1). The stage ends against Madrid.
- Barça always win after travelling away to Panathinaikos: in 2002 they went to San Mamés and won 2-0 and in 2005 they beat Osasuna per 3-0.