Tune in to Preseason El Clasico: How to Watch Barcelona vs. Real Madrid Live

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Although neither of these teams is quite ready, they always rise to the challenge in this long-standing rivalry.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are playing one other in Texas as they get ready for the start of the La Liga regular season next month. It may be the preseason, but a Clasico is still a Clasico. Barcelona has enjoyed a calm summer thus far, with no significant transfers planned, however Ousmane Dembele has recently been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The primary distinction, of course, is that Lionel Messi’s former defensive midfield partner Sergio Busquets has rejoined Inter Miami in Major League Soccer. Jordi Alba, a left back, will probably soon join them as well. Ilkay Gundogan, a newcomer from Manchester City, has replaced Busquets.

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Jude Bellingham, a key offseason target for Real Madrid, has already been signed, while Karim Benzema has gone and joined the ranks of this summer’s first-timers to lace up his boots in the Saudi Pro League. Finally, there is the issue of Kylian Mbappe, who is still a PSG player but whom the club believes has already decided to join Real Madrid when his contract expires next summer.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti has experimented with his two young Brazilian wingers, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo playing as strikers with Jude Bellingham as a 10 behind them in the absence of Karim Benzema and in the absence of another star striker on the team as of yet. That is the lineup he used to defeat Manchester United 3-2 in a friendly, and it is the configuration he used to defeat AC Milan 2-0 in the tour opener, despite not starting the two wingers.

Questions abound for Barcelona in the midfield. They have only played one preseason game so far, losing to Arsenal 5-3. In that game, Gundogan began in midfield with newly acquired Oriol Romeo, who was the team’s most defensive midfielder. Barcelona’s preferred option at the base of the midfield doesn’t appear to be the journeyman Romeo, so it’s unclear exactly how they want to set up. Will Saturday night provide any additional hints?

Although the defense doesn’t usually present much opposition during these preseason friendly matches, don’t anticipate these sides to play each other lightly either. Both of these teams are really similarly matched, and a 2-2 draw would show that. Both are probably still one or two moves away from the shape they will be in when the season begins.

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