Barcelona aim to put the Champions League defeat to Chelsea behind them and make the La Liga title race completely open with a win at Camp Nou, whereas Real Madrid are under pressure after losing to Bayern Munich, especially as a defeat in this match would see Barca close the gap to just one point.
Even if Pep Guardiola said the title race was over when Real Madrid went ten points clear at the top of La Liga standings, his players just wouldn’t give up fighting and were soon rewarded for their efforts.
The run of 11 straight victories in La Liga saw the Catalans close the gap to four points and with Real now coming to Camp Nou, odds of 3.40 (12/5) offered by Ladbrokes on Barcelona to win La Liga title do look tempting.
Barca’s impressive run of results came to an end as they were beaten by Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, but Pep Guardiola is aware his players cannot afford to be downhearted by that result but rather need to concentrate on the Real Madrid game.
The boss is unlikely to make big changes to the side that started at Stamford Bridge, but he is expected to revert to a three-man defence, with Gerard Pique returning to the starting line-up.
Alexis Sanchez has picked up a knock in London and limped off the plane as the team arrived to Barcelona, but he is expected to start against Real.
Probable starting line-up (3-4-3): Valdes – Mascherano, Pique, Puyol – Alves, Xavi, Busquets, Keita – Sanchez, Messi, Iniesta.
There are no doubts Real Madrid have come a long way under Jose Mourinho and after quite a while los Blancos have managed to match their arch rivals on both domestic and international stage.
Nonetheless, just one month before the season is over, los Blancos have yet to secure a major trophy and unless they can end the season on a high, the team will be seen as major underachievers.
Qualifying for the Champions League final will be no easy task after the 2-1 defeat in Munich, whereas their La Liga title bid will be in serious danger if they lose at Camp Nou.
One point from the El Clasico derby would see los Merengues virtually ensure first place in the standings, and you should know BetVictor pays 4.30 (33/10) on draw.
Jose Mourinho has absolutely no selection problems, although he is expected to make at least one change to the team that were beaten by Bayern Munich.
Brazilian Kaka could replace out-of-form Angel Di Maria, whereas Marcelo should start at left-back with Fabio Coentrao relegated to the bench.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Casillas – Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo – Alonso, Khedira – Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo – Benzema.