Can Linda Caicedo help Real Madrid to first Clásico win over Barcelona?
Caicedo has shaken off a knock and is fit for Real Madrid’s visit to the Estadi Johan Cruyff, where Las Blancas take on Liga F leaders Barcelona.
A player used to overcoming challenges, Linda Caicedo faces her first big test as a Real Madrid player on Saturday. The Colombian will be out to make history against arch rivals Barcelona, the Liga F leaders and the team to beat in Spain’s domestic women’s game. The Blaugrana are closing in on another Spanish title, and will look to take another big step towards that goal at the Estadi Johan Cruyff.
Caicedo passed fit for first Clásico
Caicedo is in Madrid’s squad for the trip to Catalonia after recovering from the knock she suffered against Tenerife last weekend. The forward has given an excellent account of herself so far in the white shirt, and has now started the last two games for Alberto Toril’s side. She brings so much to an attack that she shares with other potential match winners such as Athenea del Castillo, Esther González and Caroline Weir.
Caicedo loves these kinds of challenges. Madrid have never beaten Barça, but the 19-year-old’s arrival in Spain could well help them to change that. Her pace will be key in the final third - as will her deadly finishing. Las Blancas can’t expect to get many chances against a side of Barça’s calibre.
Barcelona yet to drop a point in Liga F
Caicedo will be the focus of attention of a home defence that has conceded just five goals in 22 Liga F games thus far this term. Jonatan Giráldez’s team have won every match they’ve played in the Spanish top flight in 2022/23, and as the Catalans chase a fourth straight league championship, Barça’s head coach spoke yesterday of the importance of this Clásico.
“There’s no need to motivate players against Real Madrid - that takes care of itself,” he told reporters. “For everyone connected to Barcelona, it’s a huge game, because we’re playing at home and we’re facing the second-placed team in the league. We need to be mindful of the fact that a win would take us closer to the title, which is our aim.”
What was Caicedo’s record in Cali Clásico?
Caicedo has a terrific record in high-profile clashes between arch rivals: indeed, she lost just one Cali Clásico during her time in Colombian soccer. While she was an América de Cali player, she hit a hat-trick in her first meeting with Deportivo Cali, at the age of just 15. She then marked her second appearance against Deportivo with a sublime solo goal.
After leaving América for Deportivo in 2020, the teenager played her part in a 1-0 win over her former employers, before setting up a goal for Manuela Paví the next time the sides met. During the 2-2 draw at the Estadio Pascual Guerrero, her América past led her to be whistled by the home fans from start to finish.
In 2022, she won one and lost one against América. Deportivo were victorious in the teams’ opening meeting - winning 2-1 at home - but went down 3-1 when they visited their crosstown rivals. However, Caicedo was on the scoresheet with a fine goal. In total, her record in the Cali Clásico reads: P6 W4 D1 L1.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid: past meetings
2020/21 Liga Iberdrola
2021/22 Spanish Super Cup
2021/22 Liga Iberdrola
2021/22 Champions League
2021/22 Copa de la Reina
2022/23 Liga F
2022/23 Spanish Super Cup
Barcelona vs Real Madrid: possible line-ups
Sandra Paños; Lucy Bronze, Irene Paredes, Mapi León, Fridolina Rolfö; Patri Guijarro, Claudia Pina, Aitana Bonmatí, Ana Maria Crnogorcevic, Asisat Oshoala and Mariona Caldentey.
Head coach:Jonatan Giráldez
Misa Rodriguez; Kenti Robles; Claudia Florentina, Ivana Sanz, Olga Carmona; Claudia Zornoza, Sandie Toletti, Athenea del Castillo, Esther González, Linda Caicedo and Caroline Weir.
Head coach: Alberto Toril