Xavi Hernandez (L) of Barcelona battles for the ball with Mesut Ozil (R) in a match between the two spanish clubs.
The Clasico is upon us as this Sunday as Real Madrid and Barcelona take each other in the first official match of the 2012-13 season. They played earlier in the season in the Spanish super cup and split two one goal decisions, but Real Madrid won the Cup after scoring more away goals than their rivals. As we head into the Sunday bout, we will preview the two sides at every position to determine which squad has been better and has a greater chance at winning going into Sunday's match.
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Today we will compare the team's midfielders.
Barcelona possesses one of the greatest midfields in the world. Xavi is the complete brains of the possession and passing game, while Sergio Busquets is easily the top defensive midfielder in the game. Injuries to Andres Iniesta have hurt this team a bit, but the small man that plays huge will be back on the field against Madrid and this is a potential game changer. Iniesta is having the greatest season of his career and will add an attacking edge that the Barca midfield has lacked over the last few weeks. His explosiveness wil make the Madrid Defense stress. Thiago will be out, but with Cesc Fabregas playing in top form the last two weeks, the Barcelona midfield could decide this match easily.
Xavi has scored four goals in league matches against Real Madrid. Fabregas has one goal, while Iniesta, who has one in the Spanish Super Cup, has never scored against Real Madrid in league play.
Jose Mourinho has caused himself problems this season due to his lack of stability in the midfield. He has shuffled pieces the entire season and clearly not made his players feel comfortable. To be sure, Madrid is loaded with talent that includes Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric, Sami Khedira, Angel Di Maria, and Xabi Alonso. Kaka has been given a chance lately due to strong efforts in last the few weeks (and a tremendous showing in the Champions League) which only adds to the confusion. Unlike Barca's midfield, this one has not been allowed to gel. Things have certainly looked better of late, but this squad will need to be assertive against their foes Sunday, because they probably won't have as much possession. Angel Di Maria, who often gets thrown up top, has been the most consistent performer this season.
Edge: Barcelona without any doubt. Madrid could be better, but they haven't gelled yet. Barcelona is a well oiled machine at midfield.