sport news El Clasico between Barcelona and will be the weirdest yet

The Clasico is always billed as a blockbuster. It's usually a thriller, occasionally a horror story for one of the two sides. But this Saturday, with 99,000 empty seats, it will feel more like a silent movie, and a very strange one at that.

Rarely have both clubs come into the fixture in so much turmoil. Madrid are in pieces on the pitch after two of their worst performances under Zinedine Zidane. And Barcelona are in bits off it with boardroom dramas a constant in the Catalan capital.

Madrid are suffering off the pitch too, in as much as they share Barcelona's financial concerns. And not everything is perfect on the field for Barca who slipped up last weekend away to Getafe, making it the first day in which both of the big two had lost without scoring since 2000.

Real Madrid are reeling from a 3-2 defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League

are reeling from a 3-2 defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League

Zinedine Zidane is a man under intensifying pressure ahead of El Clasico on Saturday

Zinedine Zidane is a man under intensifying pressure ahead of El Clasico on Saturday 

Real's rocky form as LaLiga holders has paved the way for a surprise title winner this season

Real's rocky form as LaLiga holders has paved the way for a surprise title winner this season

It was in May of the 1999-2000 season that Barca lost 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano while were beaten 1-0 by Alaves. The Clasicos that season ended 3-0 to and 2-2. Deportivo won the league.

There is a feeling that 'someone else' could win the league this season too if Madrid continue to stumble and Barcelona buckle under the weight of boardroom upheaval.

After losing 3-2 to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, Madrid media speculated over who would have been jeered the most had the defeat taken place in a full Santiago Bernabeu.

'Heading for Europa League' read one sarcastic headline. In this group that is maybe not beyond the realms of possibility for .

One columnist accused Zidane of picking the team by just throwing oranges in the air and seeing where they land. He is currently not helped by injuries to Eden Hazard and Martin Odegaard who were meant to make a difference at the end of a summer marked by the absence of signings for the first time in 20 years, but there has been a 'lucky dip' element to his XIs with wild switches from two wingers in a 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 with no wingers.

On Wednesday night he benched Vinicius and Benzema even though Madrid were missing their captain at the other end of the pitch.

Much was made of the chaos that always ensues when Sergio Ramos is missing and it's true that Madrid have lost to Manchester City and Ajax, Juventus and PSG without him but he was there in the first half at the weekend and it was his mistake which led to Cadiz's goal, so this is not just about one important player missing.

Barcelona's problems on the pitch seem far

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