EURO ROUND UP Barca on a high ahead of ‘Cla­sico’

Weekly Trust - - Shot! -

La Liga and King’s Cup cham­pi­ons Barcelona will be fly­ing high when they host Real Madrid to­mor­row in the ‘Cla­sico’ but their arch ri­vals will be feel­ing equally smug after reach­ing the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal for a third year in a row.

After clinch­ing a sev­enth league ti­tle in 10 years last Sun­day, Barcelona’s only in­cen­tive is to fin­ish the La Liga sea­son without los­ing a game.

Third-placed Real’s mo­ti­va­tion, how­ever, is to leapfrog Atletico Madrid, who hold a four-point ad­van­tage but have played one more game.

There will be plenty of ten­sion on the pitch in Sun­day’s ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated fix­ture.

Barca will be keen to fur­ther ce­ment their do­mes­tic hege­mony over Madrid and ex­tend their gap over them to 18 points, which would be the big­gest gap they have ever held over their ri­vals.

Zine­dine Zi­dane’s side can avenge De­cem­ber’s hu­mil­i­at­ing 3-0 home de­feat by Barca by snap­ping the Cata­lans’ Liga record of 42 games without de­feat.

Zi­dane has al­ready an­gered Barca by declar­ing his side will not give the newly crowned cham­pi­ons a guard of hon­our be­fore kick­off, a ges­ture the Cata­lans did carry out in 2008 when Madrid had won the ti­tle.

Sun­day’s game is also the first ‘Cla­sico’ since 2008 to take place after the ti­tle race has been de­cided.

Real have had a dis­ap­point­ing Liga cam­paign and could fin­ish third for the first time in four years. But their do­mes­tic woes have not stopped them from storm­ing into the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal with a 4-3 ag­gre­gate win over Bay­ern Mu­nich. In con­trast Barca crashed out of Europe to AS Roma in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Barcelona’s tal­is­manic striker, Lionel Messi cel­e­brates after scor­ing a goal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.