Real Madrid: Barcelona’s boost for El Clasico confirmed

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 29: Xavier "Xavi" Hernandez head coach of FC Barcelona during press conference prior to the preseason Friendly match against New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on July 29, 2022 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - JULY 29: Xavier "Xavi" Hernandez head coach of FC Barcelona during press conference prior to the preseason Friendly match against New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on July 29, 2022 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid have a chance to take the top spot back from Barcelona at the weekend, when they welcome the Catalan giants to Santiago Bernabeu. Xavi’s side currently sit at first in the La Liga table, although they have the same number of points as Los Blancos, thanks to their better goal difference.

Barcelona did suffer a major blow in midweek though, when they could only manage a 3-3 draw against Inter Milan. Thus, they’ll need a bit of a miracle to make it to the last 16 of the Champions League from this point.

Their biggest area of weakness in that game was their defence, as Xavi did not have the likes of Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo, due to their recent injuries. One of them is back for the game vs Real Madrid though.

Kounde has been named in Barcelona’s squad for El Clasico, which should come as a major boost for Xavi and company. The club tweeted out:

Barcelona star returns to squad to face Real Madrid this weekend

Kounde arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in the summer, after the Catalan giants were able to beat off competition from the likes of Chelsea for the signature of the Frenchman.

Kounde did enjoy a very good start to the campaign in Barcelona colours as well, before he ended up suffering an injury.

There were some fears that he might not be available before the World Cup break but he has recovered relatively quickly and is back in the matchday squad. It is unclear though whether he is fit enough to be featuring from the start against Real Madrid.

If that is not the case then Xavi might have to rely on the duo of Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia once again, and it is safe to say that they did not cover themselves in glory vs Inter Milan.

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