It’s one of the biggest football derbies in the world and needs no introduction – Barcelona vs Real Madrid El Clásico will be played out in La Liga this Sunday at Spotify Camp Nou as the two sides clash out for points and much more. Ahead of this round of matches, Barcelona are top of La Liga standings with 65 points while Madrid are second and right behind them with 56 points. After crashing out of the Europa League at the hands of Manchester United, Barcelona recovered well to post three wins in a row. Each of those wins came by a 1-0 scoreline and were against Real Madrid in Copa del Rey, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao in La Liga. They can now defeat their nearest rival and go into the international break with a 12-point lead at the top, which almost guarantees them the title. Yet, it won’t be as straight forward as that because they have lost five of their last six La Liga El Clásicos to Real Madrid. This will also be the first time Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is taking charge of a home match against Real Madrid, so there should be enough motivation to get one past their arch rivals. Thankfully for the home fans, the Catalans are in great form defensively. They have only conceded eight goals this league campaign and that gets better at home – just one goal conceded in 12 matches.
Real Madrid stayed in the title race with a 3-1 win over Espanyol in La Liga last weekend and have followed it up with a 1-0 win over Liverpool to guarantee Champions League progression. Having already won 3-1 against Barcelona in the league earlier in the season, Los Blancos will be confident of doing it again. Their recent form is a slight worry though, as they have only two wins from their last five competitive matches. The ups and downs of their league campaign has remained a problem for manager Carlo Ancelotti with the team dropping far too many points of late. Real Madrid have won just four of their last eight league matches, drawing three and losing one. This run of matches has robbed them of a chance to get closer in the title race. Nevertheless, it is their striking record that gives them a great chance as they have already scored 50 league goals this season. The visitors know that they have no other option but to keep winning to close out the gap to their arch rivals. Away form needs to be addressed though, as Real Madrid have lost three of their last seven away league matches, winning only three and drawing one.