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Two Galacticos miss out as Barca edge Real in Mix and Match XI

| 24.10.2014

The first El Clasico of the season promises to make the world implode (how’s that for hyperbole Sky Sports?) as the 20-in-13 scoring machine that is Cristiano Ronaldo faces a Barcelona defence that is yet to be breached in La Liga.

It’s Ronaldo’s mob that are handed favouritism by Ladbrokes at odds of 13/10, while Barcelona are available at 19/10, with the draw 13/5.

However, after we jumbled up the two squads and strung them out as one in the below graphic, it’s the Blaugrana who should sneak it as they boast six representatives to Los Blancos’ five:


A goalkeeper that hasn’t had to pick the ball out of the net in any league game this season can’t really have any competition to mind the collective net and Claudio Bravo easily displaces Iker Casillas between the sticks.

Our back line has Brazilians flanking Spaniards as Dani Alves and Marcelo fill the full-back roles thanks to their combined five assists and incessant rampaging, while Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos reprise their national-team partnership in the middle.

A flat-midfield three sees Madrid dominate, with pass-masters Luka Modric and Toni Kroos combining to set our side’s tempo anchored by Barca’s Sergio Busquets.

The forward line has the most competition for places and it’s Los Blancos members who will be most aggrieved, with Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez both missing out on a starting berth.

Instead it’s Ronaldo who’ll play through the middle thanks to his aforementioned otherworldly scoring record of late.

Barca brothers Lionel Messi (seven goals and seven assists) and Neymar (eight goals and one assist) flank the Portuguese, while Luis Suarez’s absence to this point meant the author simply forgot to consider him for selection. Imagine if that happened at the Bernabeu on Saturday…

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.