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Seven years after their last meeting, Barça B and Real Madrid Castilla will meet today in the Primera RFEF. It’s the first ever reserve-team equivalent of El Clásico since the new league structure was introduced and the venue is the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, kick off Saturday at 9.00pm CEST.
Barça B have won three of their last four outings, the most recent 2-1 against FC Andorra at the Estadi Johan Cruyff. They’re now eighth in the league with 11 points, with Madrid’s reserves down in 15th with just 7, although all those points have been earned at home, where they are still unbeaten.
But as the cliché goes, for a Clásico, the form book gets thrown out the window!
“I haven’t treated this game any differently” says Barça B coach Sergi Barjuan. “I told the players that these are three points like any others, although it is always special to play Real Madrid Castilla, especially at a place where they have scored eight goals in three games. Winning would have a double effect. Winning away to Real Madrid Castilla would be a huge boost for confidence and it would also move us closer to the top positions in the table.”
Captain Arnau Comas insists that “the team mustn’t get over-excited. This is a special game for everybody but ultimately it’s a game like any other and we really need to work on our away form.”
One of the curiosities with this game is that Barça’s Antonio Aranda will be facing his own brother, Oscar Aranda, who is on the books at Real Madrid.
Arnau Tenas and Peque both miss the game through injury, while goalkeeper Iñaki Penya, who usually works with the senior team, is available for this one.
The squad is as follows: Carevic, Guillem Jaime, Comas, Mika Mármol, Álvaro Sanz, Rodado, Lucas de Vega, Nils Mortimer, Matheus, Iñaki Peña, Ndiaye, Jandro, Aranda, EZ Abde, Ramos Mingo, Escobar, Jutglà and Arnau Solà.
Igor Gomes, Kays Ruiz, Zacarías Ghailán and Peque Polo miss out.
Familiar foes in charge
The game brings together two club legends in rival coaches Raúl González and Sergi Barjuan, who faced each other fourteen times in the senior Clásico as players. The Barça B boss had the upper hand with seven wins, five draws and two defeats.
Barça and Real Madrid reserves first met on 8 January 1975, a 2-0 win for Barça B in the Spanish Cup (reserve teams played in it back in those days).
Barça wins: 13
Real Madrid wins: 17
Last games (2013/14)
Barça B 2-0 Real Madrid Castilla
Real Madrid Castilla 3-1 Barça B
Perhaps the most famous meeting between the sides was in 1997/98 in a Division 2A promotion playoff. Barça B won by a spectacular 5-0 in the old Miniestadi, including a goal from a youngster named Carles Puyol. Other future stars in that line-up included Xavi, Gabri and Luis Garcia. Barça also won the return at the Santiago Bernabéu, 2-0, for an aggregate victory of 7-0 to clinch promotion to the second tier.
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