Join die-hards from Real Madrid and FC Barcelona for a clash of heads before Saturday night's mammoth Clasico clash in La Liga...
We asked Real Madrid supporter Subhendu Roychowdhury and Barcelona fan David Samaranch to cast an eye over the two sides involved in the biggest game of the Primera Division season so far...
GOAL: First of all, how do you feel about your side's season so far?
David Samaranch (Barcelona): I knew that Pep Guardiola was going to do what he's doing now. I'm very happy and proud, but not at all surprised.
Subhendu Roychowdhury (Real Madrid): It has been absurdly horrendous. After last season's success, I seriously thought that we could restore some prestige in the UEFA Champions League this time around. But thanks to Ramon Calderon and Pedrag Mijatovic, we seem to have gone a few steps back. In short, it has been nothing short of a disaster for us so far.
GOAL: How do you rate your opponents' season?
DS: It's going quite badly, but again, I'm not surprised. I really didn't think they'd start well, and their squad is looking weak.
SR: Exactly our opposite. After the summer refurbishment, Barcelona have rediscovered themselves and although I support Real Madrid, I have to admit that they have been the most entertaining side in Europe and have certainly played the best football in the continent. But can they sustain their consistency? Hmm....
GOAL: Who do you think has the edge heading into this weekend's game, and why?
DS: Barça. Not only are we the home team but our last 20 games have been excellent, while Madrid's have been very bad. Guardiola can make the players understand that they can't be complacent, so Madrid fans' hopes of overconfidence aren't going to come true.
SR: As much as I hate to admit it, I cannot deny that it is surely Barcelona who have the edge this time. They might have lost their Champions League match in midweek but they were without their major players and were playing just for playing's sake anyway. Moreover, this is a home match for them.
GOAL: Which opposition player do you consider to be the greatest threat to your team in this clash?
DS: Iker Casillas. Even if he is in a poor run of form he is one of the top goalkeepers in the world on his day. With the Real Madrid defence playing as it is, he'll be kept busy!
SR: I am tempted to say Lionel Messi but Barcelona do have so many matchwinners and it is really tough to choose. Practically we have to keep their entire team in check and not just focus on one or two players.
GOAL: What are your team's strengths and weaknesses right now?
DS: We are a team, and they are not. We play perfectly without the ball and almost perfectly with it. Plus we have the best player of this century. A weakness? Andres Iniesta isn't playing.
SR: We have one of the worst defence in Spain and if there is anything that is going to make Saturday a disaster for us, then it is our all-too-easily crumbling backline. Also, our attack hasn't looked too sharp since we lost Ruud van Nistelrooy to injury. Our main strength is the spirit and never-say-die attitude among the players.
GOAL: Who is your all-time number one hate figure, or object of amusement, from their lot?
DS: I really can't answer that one. Sure, I hate a lot of them, but not that much that I think about it a lot.
SR: Oh, my all time Barcelona hate figure is a certain Luis Enrique Martinez. He played for us and then went to Barca and now cannot stop bitching about Madrid!
GOAL: And what do you think about Juande Ramos getting the Madrid job?
DS: I think he'll do a better job - not that this is difficult - but they still don't have a strong enough squad to win the Champions League or the Spanish league... unlike us.
SR: Frankly, I am not very impressed. At the moment of course, there is no other 'capable' manager available to take over the team. Ramos had done some really impressive stuff at Sevilla but Real Madrid are of a different breed and expectations would be more massive than they were at Sevilla or Spurs. But hopefully, we can watch some pretty football under Ramos. Schuster quite failed in that department. At least, things under Ramos are not going to be worse than they already are.
GOAL: What do you think the score of this match will be, and how will it affect your week?
DS: We'll win by two or more goals. I'll go for 3-0 or 3-1 - an easy win. How will it affect my week? Take a guess!
SR: I am tempted to say that we shall nick it in the end but I think it will be a draw. They are certainly not going to batter us as most neutral observers would say! We shall have a few important players missing the match because of injuries but I still believe that we can hold on for a draw. Well, I haven't been getting too much sleep this week thanks to all the mess at the Bernabeu and have just realised that one of my better friends has been simply playing along all the time. A defeat could just wreck me!
GOAL: Thank you both for your time!
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