Tactical Analysis: FC Barcelona v Real Madrid

It’s one of, if not THE, biggest game in world club football. El Clasico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, and this one should be an interesting encounter. Powered by Globall Coach, let’s delve into the two sides and how things might play out in the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon.

One of the things which makes this particular encounter so interesting is that it will be the first time the two clubs have met for some time without either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi misses out for Barca with a hand injury sustained last week, while Ronaldo has moved to Juventus, and so the two teams will line up quite differently to their previous meetings.

When you have, arguably, the best players in the world, it is easy to sometimes rely on their genius. Give them the ball and let them do their thing. Neither team has that option this time around.

So how do they balance those losses out?

Let’s start with the home team, FC Barcelona. Without Messi, they still have some fantastic attacking options. Ousmane Dembele would be the likely replacement if they go like for like, but they could also bring in someone like Rafinha who tends to play a little deeper but who did well in the Champions League in midweek.

One of the little spoken about attacking threats of Barca comes in the form of a full back. As they play, generally, a quite narrow system, Jordi Alba has space to overlap down the left hand side, and he has the energy to get up and down the flank.

You will often find him as one of their most furthest forward players when attacking and he provides excellent delivery and creates a lot of goals.

With someone like Sergio Busquets in midfield, he offers the defensive stability to allow Alba to bomb on, as the below Globall Coach animation demonstrates.

In the opposition, Real Madrid have badly struggled without Ronaldo. They recently set an unwanted record for the longest time without scoring a goal and are slipping behind in the La Liga title race already.

When you look on paper and see Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco, their potential front front for this fixture, you do wonder how they have struggled so much to score goals.

There is no doubt that they have talented players, but they have seemed to get frustrated when unable to break teams down and trying to force the situation a bit too much.

They have also missed the explosiveness in attack of Cristiano. He would get the ball and be very direct, whereas this season, they have tended to move the ball a little too slowly, allowing opponent teams to get organised behind the ball and make themselves incredibly difficult to break down.

Real Madrid formation.png

So both teams will need to adapt. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

Want to know more about Globall Coach?

The animation that you see above is a fantastic visual tool to help convey your ideas to your players. They can be used to display tactical movements, patterns of play or set pieces. We work with a host of professional, amateur and youth football clubs around the world, helping them and their coaches with our market leading animation. Like to learn more and see how we can help you? Please get in touch, we look forward to hearing from you! Simply click this link.

Paul Harper