The goalkeeper has always been a delicate position both for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Many great goalies have defended the clubs, while there’s also a decent number of keepers that barely made an impression. Nowadays, two experienced players represent each side. Bravo has won the battle of the newbies at Barça, and Casillas has gained Ancelotti’s trust. With two exceptional attackers in front of them, this will be their biggest test of the year.
Ten goals conceded in nine games in all competitions. The captain had a very rough start, with two consecutive losses early in La Liga. With some time for him to gain minutes and for the team to adjust, he’s been able to keep three clean sheets in his last four games. There’s still a considerable number of Madridistas who want him out of the lineup. However, Iker’s been able to breathe for now, with a few good saves here and there.
His biggest weakness has always been aerial plays, especially set pieces. That’s never going to change, since he never bothered to get better at it. Consequently, it’s up to him and Ancelotti to organize the defense in order to prevent debacles. Barcelona isn’t exactly his favorite rival, as he’s suffered a few devastating losses over the years. The key to his success on Saturday? Give absolutely everything and push himself in every play.
Even though he arrived to be the substitute goalie for promising Ter Stegen, it’s been Claudio who’s won Luis Enrique’s trust. He’s responded well with no goals against in eight matches. A lot of it has to do with Barcelona’s ball domination, which forbids rivals from reaching the Chilean keeper too often. Still, these numbers are very impressive, since we’re talking about one of Europe’s top leagues.
Bravo’s career hasn’t exactly been filled with titles, with only two achievements on his curriculum. Nevertheless, if he maintains this level throughout the season, he’ll easily increase that list. Barça’s only defeat came against PSG, with Ter Stegen as the starting player. This was their first real test versus a powerful team, clearly showing flaws in the back line. El Clásico will be his biggest challenge, but Bravo has it all to pass it.