Everything suggests that both Ronald Koeman and Zinedine Zidane will shift away from their tried-and-trusted attacking tridents in Saturday’s Clasico.
As Barcelona trained ahead of the game, there was no sign of Koeman‘s trident of Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann. Likewise, Real Madrid worked without any sign of Zidane opting for his attacking trio of Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior.
Instead, the two coaches are expected to line up with defensive tridents, with both readying three-man backlines.
Koeman is keeping a close eye on Gerard Pique‘s recovery. If he’s ready, he’ll start in the defence. If not, it’ll be Oscar Mingueza, Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet making up Barcelona‘s back three. There is also a chance that Frenkie de Jong could feature in defence.
Barcelona’s probable line-up
Pique still needs time to get back to 100 per cent, and Koeman isn’t convinced that he’s in a position to make his XI. With a lot of important games still to come after El Clasico, he doesn’t want to risk his experienced centre-back.
Real Madrid’s probable line-up
Zidane has also signed up for the idea of a back three. The Real Madrid XI is likely to have Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez and Ferland Mendy at the back, due to the absences of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
With a Champions League trip to Anfield to come next week, though, there is a chance that either Vinicius or Asensio could be rested, allowing Marcelo to come into the XI.
Even one of the midfielders, most probably Toni Kroos or Luka Modric, could be rested.