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Play: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid
El Clasico Spanish Football League 2013
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013,
Kick Of Time:12:00 PM EST /18:00 Local Time Venue :Camp Nou, Barcelona Stats: Live !!!
Gerardo Martino appears to have just one big decision to make for his starting eleven. Javier Mascherano returned from injury in the midweek against AC Milan and looked a bit rusty. Veteran team captain Carles Puyol did not play in Italy after starting against Osasuna last weekend. Does Martino go with Puyol, arguably the heart and soul of the team, or stick with Mascherano who has been his first choice starter all season? I tend to believe he'll go with Puyol but we'll have to wait and see.
Yahoo! Sports wrote that Blaugrana supporters "cringe at the prospect of having Piqué in the lineup" because "they know he's not what he was two or three years ago", adding, "Shakira's consort has become, perhaps even before Pep Guardiola's departure after the 2012 season, a liability, the weakest link in the Barça defense. A defense that leaked more than a broken dam last season, but has improved considerably under new coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino despite absences, at various times, of key personnel (Puyol, Alba Mascherano)." Barcelona enters the match at first place in the Primera Division with a one point lead over Atlético Madrid and a three point lead over Real Madrid. They'll look to reestablish their advantage at Camp Nou, which Real Madrid has asserted surprising control over since 2010 -- Barcelona has only beaten Madrid once at home in league play since 2010, when Jose Mourinho's squad got buried 5-0. Barca has notched two victories in cup matches over Madrid at home since then, but league play wins have remained harder to come by for them. Barcelona also failed to pick up a win in either of the regular season Clasicos (they tied 2-2 at the Camp Nou and Madrid won 2-1 at home). The teams faced off in the Spanish Super Cup last year; Barca won 3-2 at home but Madrid won 2-1 at home and reigned victorious. The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey while Madrid took home a 3-1 victory in the second leg.