Listening Practice: 2015 El Clásico: Three Things to Watch Out For
This Saturday sees the first clásico of the 2015-16 season when Real Madrid host Barcelona. In this short listening report we preview the game by looking at three areas where the game could be won or lost.
Messi and Ronaldo
It’s no surprise to focus on the top two players in the world but this time round there are question marks hanging over both players. Lionel Messi has not played a competitive match in almost two months, while Ronaldo has not been playing as well as we all know that he can. The Portuguese star has not really performed in the bigger games this season so he will be determined to make his mark this weekend. With Messi there is a little less pressure on him and indeed the team as they have done rather well without him, especially team mates Suarez and Neymar who have stepped up and taken the team to the top of the table.
This will be Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez’ first el clásico game in charge and it will be interesting to see how he reacts under the kind of intense pressure he will face. He has yet to win over all of the Real faithful despite not having his first choice XI available to him for most of this season. He is seen as a more conservative manager than his Barcelona counterpart Luis Enrique who lost this game last season though he did go on to win the treble. The Barca boss has a settled side and his only worry appears whether or not to use Messi from the bench or not.
The Midfield Battle
With World Cup winners in both sides’ midfield, this area of the pitch will promise to be an intriguing battle. Too much space and Barca’s Iniesta and Busquets will keep possession all day long but Real have German star Tony Kroos who can control a game on his own. Add in James Roriguez, Modric and Isco and the Real Madrid midfield will be looking to dominate – as long as they can get hold of the ball that is.
Which team do you think will come out on top in this season’s el clásico? Let us know by posting a comment below.
question marks hanging over both players: Doubts about both players
to make his mark: To stand out
have stepped up: Have started to play well in Messi’s place
has yet to win over: He has not convinced people
the Real faithful: The Real Madrid fans
his first choice XI: The starting team
a more conservative manager: Not as attack minded
counterpart: opposing number
a settled side: A team that does not change its members very often (and is playing well)
intriguing: Very interesting
will come out on top: will win