As Real Madrid prepare to face off against Barcelona in the highly-anticipated El Clasico at Camp Nou, the importance of Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the opposite goal cannot be overstated.
As we approach this game, Thibaut Courtois has recognized the talents of his counterpart and has praised the German ahead of what is expected to be a tightly contested match.
Ter Stegen has been in sensational form this season and has played a crucial role in helping Barcelona retain the best defensive record in La Liga so far.
With a save-percentage rate of 89%, he outperforms all the other ‘keepers not only in La Liga but also in Europe. He has recorded an astounding 19 clean sheets in 25 league matches – the highest in the league by a huge margin.
Courtois, who has been very consistent at Real Madrid, acknowledges Ter Stegen’s qualities, stating (h/t Movistar Plus), “I don’t think he has improved at all, because Ter Stegen has always been a great goalkeeper.”
Courtois has racked up a save percentage of 81% this season and will undoubtedly be a crucial figure in ensuring Real Madrid come away with all three points in this critical fixture.
As the two giants of Spanish football go head to head once again, every moment and every save will be crucial in determining the outcome of this match.
“Ter Stegen is an incredible goalkeeper. Sometimes there are bumps in your career and you have bad luck that maybe they mark you an unfortunate goal sometimes. What happens is that now things are going well for him, and a goalkeeper with confidence grows even more,” Courtois added.
As the countdown to kick-off continues, fans on both sides will be eagerly anticipating a masterclass from these two exceptional goalkeepers.
Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla
Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.
Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.
Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.
Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla
As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.
Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.
On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.
Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.
Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.
Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.
As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.