The referee Jesús Gil Manzano will finally direct this Saturday, from 4 o’clock, the Classic between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, corresponding to matchday 30 of LaLiga Santander, after the injury of his colleague Antonio Mateu Lahoz, who had been initially designated.
“The Arbitration Committee of the Professional Competition (CACP) has changed the appointment of the referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz due to a muscle injury, the referee initially appointed to direct the match between Real Madrid CF-FC Barcelona on matchday 30 of the First Division”, explained the RFEF .
With this injury to Mateu Lahoz, who was going to direct his sixth classic, it will be Extremadura referee Jesús Gil Manzano who will deliver justice at Di Stéfano in a key derby in the future of the fight for the title.
Gil Manzano, who debuted in the First Division in the 2012/13 season, has only one Clásico in his refereeing career, the one from matchday 9 of LaLiga 2014/15 at the Santiago Bernabéu, with a 3-1 result in favor of Real Madrid.
A decisive Real Madrid-Barcelona
Real Madrid and Barcelona face off in a classic that can mark their aspirations to the title in the absence of nine days for the end of the Spanish championship with the two teams in full streak of play and results.
The Blaugrana team, second classified one point behind the league leader, Atlético de Madrid, I could unseat the rojiblancos in the event of a victory at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium, as long as the Colchoneros do not have a good time with Betis a day later.
Barça comes to the match encouraged by their latest results after nine official games without losing defeat, in which they have scored 23 goals. Added to this streak is the prospect of an eventual title within a week when they face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final., to which he could reach as a league leader. The League-Cup double could best close a year of transition for Barcelona, which must first overcome the challenge of Real Madrid.
The Culé team will look again in Madrid towards its captain Leo Messi, the top scorer of the championship with 23 goals, far from the 18 of the Merengue top scorer, Karim Benzema.
The Rosario star can mark a new milestone in his career this Saturday, reaching the record of 45 official classics held by Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, absent on Saturday due to a left calf injury. Messi will once again be the great benchmark of the Catalan team, who could recover for the match against central Gerard Piqué, after training this week with the team after overcoming a knee sprain he suffered at the beginning of March.
Koeman’s team will need his best face to beat Real Madrid, which He comes to the game animated after beating Liverpool 3-1 on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final. If Barça dreams of the League-Cup double, the Merengues do it with winning the Spanish championship and achieving their 14th European Cup, but -for the first- they must start by beating Barcelona this Saturday, which would allow them to match points with Atlético, in the event of a red-and-white defeat on Sunday.
Zinedine Zidane could once again count on Vinicius, who distinguished himself with a double against Liverpool on Thursday and who already has under his belt being the youngest scorer of the classic, after scoring on March 1, 2020 (at 19 years and 233 days), ahead of Lionel Messi (19 years and 259 days). The Merengues, like their rival on Saturday, have set the course in the last third of the championship, after an uneven start to the campaign.