Preview: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Preview: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

A ‘friendly’ iteration of El Clasico takes place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Saturday night, as Barcelona and Real Madrid put on a show for the Texan crowd.

Xavi’s side most recently fell to a 5-3 loss to Arsenal in Los Angeles, while their capital counterparts ran out 2-0 victors over Manchester United.

Despite putting three goals past an Arsenal side that were stunted in a prior defeat to Man United, Barcelona failed to bring their defensive acumen with them to the United States, as Xavi witnessed his side concede five to the Gunners in a dissatisfactory start to their transatlantic stopover.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Ferran Torres all breached the Arsenal backline, but Leandro Trossard’s brace, Bukayo Saka’s finish, Kai Havertz’s toe-poke and Fabio Vieira’s thunderbolt all contributed to the Catalonians’ downfall on Wednesday night.

Xavi admitted that he was left taken aback by Arsenal’s intensity in that exhibition game, and the 43-year-old can be sure that there will be no let-up for his side in Dallas, as they seek a quick return to winning ways after seeing off Vissel Kobe 2-0 last month.

A sickness outbreak did Barcelona no favours before their eight-goal extravaganza versus Arsenal; their proposed showdown with Juventus had to be called off, but Xavi’s side have seemingly fully recovered from that viral episode and have another trio of daunting friendlies on the menu.

Indeed, AC Milan and Joan Gamper Trophy challengers Tottenham Hotspur are lying in wait before La Blaugrana commence the defence of their La Liga crown – one which Real Madrid will endeavour to wrestle out of their grasp in the coming months.

Preview: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid – prediction, team news, lineups
Endearing himself to the Bernabeu faithful in extraordinary fashion, Espanyol loanee Joselu made sure of Real Madrid’s two-goal win over Man United in midweek, having already witnessed Jude Bellingham propel Los Blancos into the lead with a delicate dink after just six minutes.

The Red Devils’ attempts to claw their way back into the Texan tie were futile, and in the dying embers of the match, Joselu fired a terrific overhead kick beyond a stagnant Andre Onana, who was otherwise a shining light in Man United’s 2-0 loss.

Now two-for-two in pre-season after coming out on the correct end of a 3-2 thriller versus Milan, Carlo Ancelotti’s crop will take to North American soil for the penultimate time in pre-season this weekend, as a final showdown with Juventus on August 1 precedes their flight home.

Real president Florentino Perez had already poured cold water on the prospect of further signings this summer, and Ancelotti hailed his squad as “complete” following their success over the Red Devils, having witnessed a new-look 4-4-2 work to good effect.

Los Blancos will now renew hostilities with Barcelona following their quintet of meetings in the 2022-23 campaign, which saw La Blaugrana come out on top on three occasions, but their most recent battle ended in a 4-0 Real romping during their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg.

Barcelona friendly form:

Real Madrid friendly form:

We say: Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have already displayed an affinity for goals in pre-season as players aim to make their mark under Xavi and Ancelotti, who should oversee an entertaining encounter on the Dallas turf.

It is always difficult to know exactly what to expect in pre-season as managers tinker with their side’s tactics, but we expect Saturday’s El Clasico to live up to the billing in a high-scoring draw.

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