These clubs are accustomed to winning titles. Consequently, those who score the goals and give the assists hog all the attention. Nevertheless, all of that silverware wouldn’t have been possible without great goalies. Nowadays, both teams have experienced keepers that connect and communicate well with their defense. With brilliant and mediocre moments this season for both, their form will shape El Clásico.
When he signed for Barcelona, there were doubts about how good of an investment he would turn out to be. His good World Cup and his contribution to Real Sociedad’s qualification to Europe were his biggest selling points. He went unbeaten for eight consecutive matches, but he couldn’t continue as Madrid came in and scored three the last time they met.
With two draws and four losses so far, his clean sheet keeping abilities have made Barça the team with less goals against. Fortunately for him, Real are having trouble scoring and this might make his night a more comfortable one. In addition, the home factor always gives players a boost. The Chilean should be careful with set pieces and keep his defense from giving away penalties.
The captain hasn’t been the same since Mourinho benched him in 2013. This year he’s had more stability and trust from his coach. He’s only missed eight games this season, conceding 30 goals in all competitions. In little over a month, he has had two terrible matches, the 4-0 at the Vicente Calderón and last week’s 3-4 versus Schalke. He doesn’t have the best track record against the Blaugranas.
Still weak, yet improved in aerial plays, his reflexes are the only thing saving him recently. He was blessed in the last Clásico as only Neymar had a decent day. This time around, he must really play a nearly perfect match. If he allows his defense to disconnect and not work efficiently, he will be facing a busy night. As the supposed leader of the team, he should spread the positive attitude and stop this crisis now.