The unique rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be reignited when the Catalans visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday. Real Madrid will be the happier team coming into the tie having secured a semi-final spot in Champions League and holding a comfortable three-point lead over Barcelona, having played one match less. The contest is expected to be an action-packed one especially since anything less than win will mark end of Barcelona's title chase.
Real Madrid Look to deliver knockout blow
Zidane’s men are in pole position to secure their 4th league title in 13 years. They have been chasing elusive league title and this season presents their best chance to assert their domestic dominance with the Championship. Zidane’s Midas touch has done wonders at Santiago Bernabeu. They are in prime position to defend their European crown and barring a disaster they should comfortably take home the domestic title.
ðŸ‘Š One day to go until #ElClasico!
Today's agenda today at #RMCity:
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) April 22, 2017
Zidane has an enviable squad and the Madrid bench is the strongest in Europe. Credit must be given to the Frenchman for employing his resources wonderfully and resting star players when required. Even a draw would suffice for the European champions and it will be interesting to see if they opt to sit back and play on the counter. In the reverse fixture, Zidane’s men were outplayed for most of the game only for Ramos to score last minute equaliser.
Madrid are expected to dominate proceedings this time around against a tired Barcelona side who are coming on the back of a demoralising aggregate defeat against Juventus.
Real Madrid Team News
Bale has returned to training but may not be fit enough to start the match. Varane and Pepe continue to remain long-term absentees. Zidane has a big squad of players to choose from and he will hope to make the right choices to get the better of their fierce rivals.
— FYS Football (@FYS_Football) April 20, 2017
Barcelona’s biggest showdown.
In many aspects, this could be the game on which the Catalans season might me measured. A victory could go a long way in saving face, in what has been an inconsistent performance throughout the season. Luis Enrique has achieved many things in his tenure as the Catalans coach and he will have to finish on the good side of the result on Sunday to bid a happy farewell.
— FYS Football (@FYS_Football) April 21, 2017
A win will not guarantee the La Liga title for the Catalans way but will set the tone for a strong finish in the season. Ideally, Luis Enrique would want his team to win the rest of the games this season including the final of La Copa and a win at Santiago Bernabeu will give much-needed confidence to the side.
Barcelona played out an absorbing contest against Juventus in midweek. They reverted to a four-man defence against the Italian Champions and will be interesting to see if they stick to the same formation. Lionel Messi has been scoring for fun in the league and the diminutive Argentinean will be once again the key for the Catalans.
Barcelona Team News
The big news is the suspension of Neymar for this important clash and the Catalans are set to appeal the ban in CAS. The chances of the ban being revoked are minimal. However the Catalans put in a breathtaking performance against Real Madrid at the same venue without Messi last season, there is no why they cannot do the same without the Brazilian this time. Arda Turan has been declared fit. Vidal and Rafinha continue to be sidelined.
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 21, 2017
Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Navas, Marcelo, Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal, Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Messi, Denis Suarez, Luis Suarez
Europe’s biggest match is here. Make sure you watch it live on Sony Network, Sunday 23rd April at 11:30 pm (IST)