Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Stats that could define El Clasico 2023 as Karim Benzema aims to score in 15th game
The semi-final of the Copa del Rey will host one of the biggest matches in the world. Barcelona And real Madrid will meet in the first leg of the semi-finals. Only one team can lift the trophy, as the winner will face either health or Atlético Bilbao.
Barcelona are on track to win La Liga and are currently seven points clear of Real Madrid. Xavi already won his first major trophy with a victory in the Spanish Super Cup, also against Real Madrid. But when Barça were eliminated from the Europa League due to Manchester United, it’s a competition they need to win in order to have a successful season. It’s also an important competition for Real Madrid as their La Liga dominance is in jeopardy. Los Blancos are still in contention to win the Champions League, but with the team so many points behind, they may need to double outside of the Club World Cup to feel good about how things went.
With three El Clasicos in the next 35 days, let’s take a look at some of the numbers that could determine the matchup:
8. Goals conceded by Barcelona in 23 league games.
This is a bit of a misleading statistic as although Barça allow 0.35 goals per La Liga game played, this number increases when they are in cup competitions. In 15 cup matches this season, Barcelona have conceded 19 goals, a much more reasonable figure of 1.23 goals per match. Although it is still a large number, it is indeed show that when the Barcelona defense is tested by the good attackers that Real Madrid have, their defense can be beaten. This is especially important when Barcelona is involved in things like the game. Mark Alonso in central defence, which is great for possession-based play but can come back to chase them down if they fall behind.
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2: Loss of Los Blancos when Karim Benzema scored
It may seem like an oversimplification to say that if Benzema scores, Real Madrid will win, but this season it turned out to be absolutely true. Benzema had some form issues this season but still scored in 14 appearances in all competitions. The only losses for the team when he scores were Villarreal and … Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup. Benzema will want a different outcome in this match, but it will be decided by the strikers.
1-1: the record of personal meetings between Barcelona and Real Madrid this season
Despite what the table might say, these teams can’t be very divided: this season, one win in every match with a 3-1 score. Real Madrid’s home victory was repeated in October, when both teams had relatively complete squads. Barcelona won on neutral ground, but Real Madrid suffered a pretty big loss. Eduardo Camavinga sits at the base of the midfield instead of Aurélien Chuameni.
Chuameni may be the next most important player at Real Madrid after Benzema as they don’t have another natural defensive midfielder with Casemiro now at Manchester United, but he won’t be able to slow down Barcelona’s attack on his own.
Robert Lewandowski likely to miss El Clasico with a hamstring injury, but Ferran Torres can replace him when needed while Rafina shines and Ousmane Dembele is sidelined. Xavi will want to bounce back from relegation from the Europa League, while Real Madrid, who have scored five unanswered goals, Liverpool appears, it will be a real show.
How to watch and odds
- Date of: Thursday 2 March | Time: 15:00 ET
- Location: Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid, Spain
- Live Stream: ESPN+
- Chances: Real -105; Draw: +260; Barça +270 (via Caesars Sportsbook)