David Villa thinks El Clasico will be decided by wingers as he praises Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior & Barcelona's Raphinha
- Barca host Real Madrid on Sunday
- Can move 12 points clear with a win
- Brazilian duo tipped to impress
WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona renew their rivalry with Real Madrid on Sunday as the two giants of Spanish football clash once again. Raphinha heads into the match in good form, with five goals and two assists in his last nine games for Barcelona, and Villa thinks the Brazilian will be one to watch.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "He is one of Barcelona's key players now. They have always depended on direct wingers and he has been a great signing. I saw him a lot at Leeds because I'm friends with Rodrigo and Jack Harrison so I'm not surprised," he said as reported by the Daily Mail.
"We look at his goals and assists but he gives so much more. I played on the left wing for Barcelona and I know to be a winger there you have to work very hard to open space for others."
AND WHAT'S MORE: Villa also had praise for Vinicius Junior and admitted he loves to watch the Real Madrid forward in action.
"I love the direct style he has. I think football is gradually losing that type of player who plays on the wing, and who looks to take people on. There aren't as many as there were before and Vinicius is one of them. It's great to watch him play and always want to take people on and go for the byline or the goal," he added. "And I think independently of Mbappe not arriving last summer Vinicius would have pushed on this season. He's maturing as a player which is only natural because he's playing regularly and he has so much ability."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: There's plenty riding on Sunday's match, with Barcelona able to extend their lead over Madrid to 12 points with just 12 games of the season left to play. However, victory for Los Blancos will cut the gap to six points and breathe life into the title race.
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DID YOU KNOW? Only Karim Benzema (14) and Vinicius (13) have been involved in more goals among La Liga players in all competitions in 2023 than Barcelona's Raphinha (7 goals, 5 assists).
WHAT NEXT? The Clasico is the final game for both teams before the international break. Barcelona resume against struggling Elche on Saturday, April 1, while Madrid take on Real Valladolid a day later.