This could be a prediction, but Barcelona and Real Madrid are still classics, and they are facing each other in Texas because both teams are preparing for the regular season of La Liga, which will start next month. Barcelona’s office has been quiet so far, with no major changes in the books, although recently, Ousmane Dembele has been linked with a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain. However, the significant difference is that longtime defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets has now moved to Inter Miami to reunite with Lionel Messi in Major League Soccer. And left-back Jordi Alba will likely join them soon. Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City has come in place of Busquets.
On the other hand, Real Madrid has already achieved a significant objective by signing a big official deal with Jude Bellingham, while Karim Benzema has left, becoming one of the first stars to retire in the Saudi Pro League this summer. And then, there’s certainly the little matter of Kylian Mbappe, who has become a PSG player, but the club believes he has already agreed to join Real Madrid when his contract ends in the next summers.
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In the absence of Benzema and without any other prominent striker in the roster, manager Carlo Ancelotti has experimented with his two young Brazilian wingers, Vinicius Junior and Rodrigo, along with Jood Belingham as the striker, who is playing 10 behind them. This is the lineup he used in a friendly match against Manchester United, which they won 3-2, and he also used the same formation in the opening match of this tour, where they won 2-0 against AC Milan (although without the two wingers starting).
The midfield question is crucial for Barcelona. They have played only one preseason match, which they lost 5-3 against Arsenal. Gundogan started in midfield alongside the newly signed Oriel Romeo, who played as the most defensive midfielder in the team. It doesn’t seem like the traveling Romeo will be Barcelona’s first choice based on midfield, so establishing Barcelona’s intentions might remain somewhat of a mystery. Will Saturday night reveal any further clues?
These preseason friendly matches don’t offer much in terms of strong defensive resistance, but they also don’t expect both teams to go all-out against each other. The 2-2 draw shows that both sides are relatively evenly matched, and at the start of the season, they are still one or two steps away from any concrete conclusions