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El Clasico Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Real Madrid and Barcelona will contest for the La Liga top spot when the arch-rivals meet in the first El Clásico of the season at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The sides will go into the tie with the same amount of points.

But Barcelona are ahead of their Sunday afternoon hosts in goal difference. So, a draw will keep the visitors on top, while the home side must win to leapfrog their opponents in the standings.

Real Madrid cruised to the La Liga title last season with a whopping 13-point lead over the runner-ups. But the Catalonians have started the season strong this time around to indicate this season’s title race will not be a one-sided affair.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side kicked off their season with seven wins and a draw. 22 points out the possible 24 is an incredible haul, but it’s still not enough to put Los Blancos on top.

The defending La Liga and Champions League champions have won only one of their last three matches in all competitions.

After losing points to a travelling Osasuna side, Madrid bounced back with a 1-0 away win against Getafe. But they had to share the spoils with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night in the Champions League.

Real Madrid have won five of their last six matches against Barcelona.

However, the last time the two teams met, Barcelona picked up a 4-0 win at Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid will hope to avenge their last season’s home defeat to Barca and go three points clear at the top.

Despite dropping points to Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, Real Madrid have confirmed their Champions League knockout stage spot.

On the contrary, Barcelona are on the verge of another group-stage elimination from the competition.

Barcelona scored three times against Inter Milan in a must-win Champions League game on Wednesday night. But their atrocious defensive display allowed the visitors to score three as well.

The 3-3 draw have kept alive Barcelona’s knockout stage progression hopes arithmetically, but the odds are incredibly stacked against them.

Barca must win their last two games and hope Inter fail to win both of theirs. Inter winning against Bayern Munich or Viktoria Plzeň will relegate Xavi’s side to the Europa League for the second successive season.

Barcelona will look to wash away their Champions League disappointments with an El Clásico victory over Real Madrid. Barcelona have been in great form domestically regardless of their struggles in Europe.

After the opening match draw against Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona have been on a seven-match winning streak.

Thibaut Courtois will not make it back in time to stand in front of the Real Madrid goal against Barcelona. So Andriy Lunin will return on goal as the Real Madrid number one recovers from a back injury.

Antonio Rudiger left the pitch with bandages on his head in the Shakhtar Donetsk game, but he will be fit to feature on Sunday evening.

Dani Ceballos will be out with a long-term thigh injury.

Barcelona will hope to put on a much better defensive performance as they will get back Jules Koundé from injury. However, there is no good news for Ronald Araújo, Andreas Christensen, Héctor Bellerín, and Memphis Depay. 

Barcelona were involved in a high intensity match against Inter Milan on midweek and they had a day less to rest before travelling to Santiago Bernabéu.

Real Madrid can take advantage a fatigued Barcelona side and nick a crucial win. We predict a 1-0 win for Real Madrid

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