The mind games have already begun ahead of this weekend’s upcoming El Clasico, which sees the top two in Spain go head-to-head in club football’s biggest rivalry, 90min reports.
Real Madrid have often held reservations about refereeing decisions made against them in past fixtures and Spanish media outlet, Marca, are reporting that Los Blancos have already expressed concerns that similar mistakes could cost them this Saturday.
The league leaders travel to the Nou Camp in good form, having gone 31 matches unbeaten in all competitions and have now opened up a six point gap at the top.
But several refereeing mistakes made by La Liga officials last weekend have sent alarm bells ringing in the Madrid camp, after they were the victims of a controversially awarded penalty during the 2-1 win over Sporting Gijon.
That, coupled with another referee’s inability to award Real Sociedad a clear goal against Barcelona, have led to fears that Madrid will be disadvantaged by poor decisions on Saturday.
Los Blancos have a long running problem with match officials and were at war with them for much of the title winning 2011/2012 season.
The club also have a poor disciplinary record when it comes to El Clasico matches and the most recent meeting between the two rivals saw Sergio Ramos given his marching orders, although a 10-man Madrid did go on to win the match 2-1.
The appointment of Clos Gomez for this weekend’s match is unlikely to calm any fears Zinedine Zidane’s men may have.
Whilst the Spaniard is highly thought of amongst many La Liga teams, the 44-year-old is under the spotlight as he has so far officiated 20 matches involving Barcelona; none of which the Catalans have lost.
Madrid on the other hand have lost four of their 27 games that Gomez has taken charge of and that stat alone has raised a few eyebrows in the capital.
It remains to be seen whether those respective records will continue on Saturday, but whatever the outcome, it’s likely to be another hotly-contested clash between these two bitter rivals.