Welcome to SunSport’s reported live on La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
El Clasico has always been a big game on the football calendar – perhaps the biggest – but few can imagine how important the title race will turn out to be.
The La Liga title has been firmly in the hands of Atletico Madrid since the beginning of the year, but only four wins in ten games have made their lead disappear.
And with Diego Simeone’s side marching at Betis tomorrow, one of the Spanish giants tonight will take the top spot for the first time in five months.
A win or draw will bring Barca back to the top, and they are the team in high form.
Ronald Koeman’s army are on a 19-match unbeaten streak including 16 wins, and next weekend they have a chance to win the silver cup by defeating Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.
Third place team Real is also peaking at the right time. Those were ten wins and two draws from their last 12 in all competitions, and included a dominant display in the first leg against Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final.
Los Blancos still don’t have the first choice of midfielders – captains Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane – but Zinedine Zidane will be a hit thanks to the performances of the reserves, Nacho and Elder Militao, in midweek.
And the same can be said of youngster Vinicius Junior, who scored twice against the Premier League champions. With Eden Hazard being injured, the 20-year-old Brazilian is sure to keep his place in the left flank.
There is better news for Gerard Pique, who is expected to return to the Barca defense after being eliminated, while Ousmane Dembele will continue to the top after his final heroic match against Valladolid on Monday.
We’ll have confirmation of the starting lineup tonight just before the action is taken at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano at 8pm.