The football calendar announces three classics for the next few days, one in the League (on the 19th) and two in the Cup, today at the Bernabéu, in the first leg of the semifinals (9:00 p.m., La1), and on April 5 at the Camp Nou. The series is especially interesting because the statistics support Barça in the same way that the sensations favor Madrid. A sports pulse in a moment of institutional peace since the clubs go hand in hand in the Super League and sue Tebas in LaLiga.
The life of the Catalans, however, has long depended on domestic competitions, eliminated as they were from Europe, while the challenge for Madrid is eternally linked to the Champions League. The biorhythms of Barcelona, therefore, are at the expense of the results of their reunions with Madrid. The 3-1 defeat in the League was as disheartening for the Camp Nou in October as the victory in the Super Cup was vitaminic in January: 1-3.
That victory encouraged the Catalans to mark distances in the League until they reached a gap of seven points that could have been 10 if they had won in Almería. It happened that Barça lost and has revived a team that is not used to forgiving like Madrid.
“It is not that we want revenge, but that we are close to a title and that is when the boiler rises in temperature,” announced Ancelotti, who will not be able to count on Mendy or Alaba and, instead, recovers Rodrygo. Xavi’s response was surprising because he repeated: “The favorite is Madrid, we are in the process of being built.” “In any case, we are in a privileged situation,” added the Barcelona coach.
Xavi does not forget that his team has lost the last two games, at Old Trafford and in Almería, and that he faces today’s event without Pedri, Dembélé or Lewandowski. Much lowered offensively, Barcelona aspires to “play as a team” from its starting defense managed by Araujo, one of the defenders who has best defended Vinicius.
Barcelona is particularly concerned about Madrid’s transitions. Xavi has insisted on the need to compete as a unit, avoid losses and be careful with details, still angry about the concessions that caused the last defeat in the League. Xavi defends his model and appeals to the personality of Barça. Ancelotti, on the other hand, prefers to imply that they will not repeat the mistakes of the Super Cup. “We lacked commitment and forcefulness”, he specified to explain that defeat that shot Barça.
The Catalans are the kings of the competition, with 31 titles, the last one won in the 2020-2021 season with Koeman on the Camp Nou bench. The Cup is not, on the contrary, one of Madrid’s favorite tournaments if one takes into account that it has 19. The last of its finals dates back to the 2013-2014 season, when it precisely defeated Barça at the Mestalla.
The moment is pressing the blaugrana more than the madridistas because the team needs titles to sustain a club that is going through a very critical economic situation and its reputation is compromised by the Negreira case. “You have to be brave”, insists Xavi, aware that the Cup can have a great impact on the League.
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