Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Combined XI for Matchday 30

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Barcelona, Lionel Messi
Barcelona, Lionel Messi (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

Barcelona LW Antoine Griezmann

Vinicius Junior is the man of the hour after his incredible performance against Liverpool, as he scored two goals in his most clinical performance to date. But it would be disingenuous for me to place Vinicius ahead of Antoine Griezmann, regardless of how many chances Griezmann himself has missed in 2020-2021.

At the end of the day, the French international has been more productive with eight goals and six assists. A lot of the criticism he gets is exaggerated, and some of it seems to come from the types of Lionel Messi fans populating social media who are barely coherent. Griezmann is still one of the best players in La Liga and makes Barça significantly better when he plays.

Barcelona CF Lionel Messi

Just as MARCA notes, Lionel Messi is the usual starter in the middle whenever Barcelona roll with a 4-3-3 in the league. The Argentine legend is having another incredible season and is still, by far, the best player in La Liga, as much as I’d love to say that Karim Benzema is “the man”.

Messi’s early-season woes are well behind him. He has 23 goals and 8 assists this season with a jaw-dropping 4.3 dribbles per game, 2.4 fouls drawn per game, and 2.3 key passes per game, according to But you don’t need me to wax poetic about Messi.

Barcelona RW Ousmane Dembele

Yes, just as Real Madrid complete a clean sweep of Barcelona in midfield, La Blaugrana take the advantage in the attack. Marco Asensio has the hot hand with four goals in four games, but Dembele is also in good form with goals in back-to-back contests. As a whole, Dembele is the superior player. He is more skilled, more agile, and more productive in La Liga with five goals to Asensio’s four.

Of all the battles in the front three, none of them are dominated by Barcelona, but when Dembele is at his best, it is really hard to argue against him being a significantly bigger threat to a defense than the technically prolific Asensio. Dembele’s technique is just as good, even if his finishing frequently lets him done.

Next. 3 reasons why Real Madrid will beat Barcelona. dark


Real Madrid and Barcelona tie in the midfield and attack due to their respective sweeps, while they split evenly defensively due to the absences of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. So it is only fitting that the tipping point is in goal. Thibaut Courtois and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are both world-class keepers, but it is impossible for me not to give Courtois the edge due to his overall body of work.

And thus, Real Madrid have a 6-5 advantage in this XI. That shows you how tight this Clasico is going to be. You won’t want to miss it. Everything feels like it’s on the line as far as La Liga goes, and not much separates these two elite clubs.