World News – GB – Steve McManaman makes Barcelona vs Real Madrid prediction ahead of El Clasico


McManaman also gave his take on ex-Madrid teammate Zinedine Zidane, new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman and Los Blancos player he’s most excited to see ahead of the Nou Camp clash

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Steve McManaman revealed his prediction for Saturday’s El Clásico as Barcelona and Real Madrid renew their intense rivalry

Both La Liga giants stammered ahead of Saturday’s clash, with Barcelona losing to Getafe last time after also being held by Sevilla at Camp Nou in their previous fixture

Madrid travel to Catalonia on Saturday after successive defeats at the Bernabeu – with their shock 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League following a 1-0 loss to newly promoted Cadiz last weekend

But McManaman fully expects both sides to be fit and dominate La Liga – as he gave his thoughts on Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and the start of Ronald Koeman’s tenure in the seat of the Barca

Giving his prediction for Saturday’s El Clásico, former Madrid midfielder McManaman backed his former side to win at Camp Nou

« Normally I pick the winners by whoever plays at home because the atmosphere is so intense in El Clásico, » the La Liga ambassador said at an event for LiveScore

« In many Spanish matches the away fans are normally stranded as high as possible at the top of the stadium, which means you can only hear the home fans

« If the game is in Madrid, I normally choose Real Madrid of course, but if it’s in Barcelona, ​​I will go to Barcelona

« The way both teams play the minute I think Real Madrid are the better team and they seem stronger defensively, so I would choose Real Madrid »

Koeman started his reign as Barca boss with successive victories over Villarreal and Celta Vigo, while the team overcame their recent blips with a 5-1 Champions League beating from Ferencvaros in the camp of New Tuesday

And McManaman believes the new manager will be a success – with last season’s trophy-less campaign and an 8-2 beating from Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals that will provide huge motivation

« Now the season has started and Barcelona have had decent results so far, I think they will be fine, » he said

« When you look at the squad and they have Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati – they’re good enough to challenge the league

« Lionel Messi has to stay in shape because he pushes them forward and scores the goals, but I think as a team they will want to prove that they are not as bad as losing 8-2 v Bayern Munich I think they are going to really fall and do well this year « 

When asked which Madrid player he is most excited to watch this season, McManaman backed former Chelsea star Eden Hazard to make huge progress after a disappointing first season at the Bernabeu

He said: « I am really happy to watch Eden Hazard because he offered a lot to Chelsea – he was an exceptional footballer there

« He was a very good signing for Real Madrid and he just hasn’t been up to his level so far

« He started unfit, he had a number of injuries – even after this preseason he took a hit in training unfortunately – and I can’t wait to see him really excel

« Karim Benzema has been excellent, Marco Asensio has of course been badly injured, so I can’t wait to see him again and see what he looks like again with a full season behind him – but I really hope he is. ‘Eden Hazard will have a great year « 

McManaman joined Madrid from Liverpool in 1999 and spent four years at the Bernabeu, winning two La Liga titles and two Champions League titles

Zidane also had a brilliant playing career with Los Blancos after leaving Juventus in 2001 – but he led the club to even greater success as a manager, winning the Champions League three consecutive seasons in his first term

McManaman was asked if he thought playing with Zidane that his teammate would eventually become a coach

“No not at the time,” he said. “He was an incredible footballer who was calm at first before learning Spanish He retired at the top of his game, he lived in Madrid and he stayed for himself

« Of course Real Madrid have always used him in an ambassadorial role, but to take a step back with Carlo Ancelotti as number two before he was given the managerial job and then to achieve what he achieved by winning three Champions League titles in two and a half years it was just an incredible sight to see « 

McManaman added: « I think a lot of the players I watch won’t be managers because they don’t have to be managers

« They don’t need the pressure of work, to work around the clock and be away from their families

« Even though it’s a very rewarding job when you do well, it’s a very difficult job if you don’t, so I have the greatest respect for Zinedine because there won’t be never that a downside to one to some extent given that he’s a fan favorite

« To accept this position, he had to really want to take on this type of role »

When asked if he now thought Zidane would end up being more famous for his achievements as a manager than as a player, McManaman replied: « Yes, absolutely. He stopped playing there. is 10-15 years old, so people are now growing up knowing Zinedine Zidane the manager

« The 1998 World Cup, where he scored two goals in the final, was a long time ago when you think about it

« In 2002, when he scored that volley for Real Madrid in the Champions League final, that was once again a long time ago

« People growing up now know only one thing – that he is an amazingly successful manager – so in 50-60 years we will still be talking about him as a manager

« It will be interesting to see if he wants to manage elsewhere because I know he has been living in Madrid for a while. It will be interesting to see if he wants to go manage in Paris or lead the France team or a another post like this « 

La Liga Ambassador Steve McManaman spoke ahead of El Clásico for LiveScore, official partner of La Liga Santander Global Scoring LiveScore’s iOS and Android app is available for download here

El Clásico, Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, ​​La Liga, UEFA Champions League, Lionel Messi

World news – GB – Steve McManaman makes Barcelona vs Real Madrid prediction before El Clasico



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