Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Starting XI Prediction for LaLiga’s Matchday 29

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Fede Valverde
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

LW Vinicius Jr.

When Vinicius Jr. faced Barcelona at the Camp Nou, he rose above racist abuse from the crowd and put on a show, thoroughly roasting Oscar Mingueza – real mismatch at right back for La Blaugrana. Barcelona don’t have a good answer for Vini defensively, though Xavi will have a much wiser gameplan for the Brazilian on Sunday night – you can bet on that.

But after a bit of a lull, Vini is back to his most dangerous form, too. He had a similar showing against Mallorca on Monday night, leading his team to a win amidst adversity. Real Madrid had a tough first half, and Vini was the main target of vicious fouls and more racist abuse. LaLiga must act to protect him. Meanwhile, on the field, Vini continues to let his elite play do the talking.

CF Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema is arguably the best striker on the planet right now and certainly the most complete. LaLiga’s Player of the Year, Benzema added another brace this past Monday in league play and has essentially locked up the Pichichi. The question is, how many more can he get?

After being quiet on the scoring front against Barça in their first league encounter, the No. 9 will be itching to bag a goal or two at the Bernabeu against La Blaugrana. Few players love a home Clasico more than Benz, who had a world-class backheel the last time he faced Madrid’s big rivals at the Bernabeu.

His status, however, is in doubt for El Clasico, as Real do not want to risk him with the title race on the horizon. I still think he will push to play as he did vs. PSG, but check back for more updates in case. This could be a decision made over the weekend. I would, personally, rest him, but after being wrong against PSG, I will lean towards him starting.

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RW Fede Valverde

Rodrygo Goes is in doubt after picking up an ankle injury against Mallorca. Marco Asensio is the likely option to start, but I would love to see Carlo Ancelotti trust Fede Valverde on the right. Barcelona’s left side of Jordi Alaba, Pedri, and Ferran Torres will be highly attacking, and so Dani Carvajal will need help. That is help Asensio cannot provide. He would get exposed badly in El Clasico, just as he was useless against PSG. Fede is a big-game player, and Real Madrid need his energy in this match. He lives for rivalry matches.