Madrid are under the command of Carlo Ancelotti and sit third in La Liga, three points behind league leaders Real Sociedad and one behind second-placed Osasuna. They’re second in Champions League Group D, level on points with leaders Sheriff.
Ronald Koeman is in charge of Barcelona. They’re seventh in La Liga, two points off Sevilla and a Champions League place and five off La Real. In Europe, the Catalan club are third in Champions League Group E, six points off the pace-setters Bayern Munich and one behind second-placed Benfica.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 24, 2021
El Clasico has undoubtedly lost some of its sheen following the departure from La Liga of Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, two iconic personalities of Spanish football. But there’s still plenty on the line and an intriguing contest awaits.
Koeman is expected to set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal behind a back four of Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia and Alejandro Balde.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) October 24, 2021
Sergio Busquets is expected to sit and anchor the midfield, with Gavi and Frenkie de Jong either side of him. Memphis Depay will lead the line, flanked by Ansu Fati and Sergino Dest.
Barcelona are missing Martin Braithwaite, Ronald Araujo and Pedri through injury, while Ousmane Dembele and Jordi Alba are both doubts. Alba has made the squad, however, and so could start.
Koeman is yet to beat a side managed by Carletto in his career, and if he were to lose today it would be Barcelona’s third straight defeat at the hands of Madrid under his stewardship according to Diario Sport and carried by Caught Offside. The Dutchman would be the first coach in 85 years to hold that record.