El Clasico makes a welcome return to La Liga’s scheduling on Saturday when Barcelona hope to heap further misery on a Real Madrid team reeling from back-to-back defeats.
Zinedine Zidane’s men compounded a home defeat to Cadiz in Week 6 by losing 3-2 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, marking a disastrous start to their UEFA Champions League season.
Barcelona enjoyed far greater success in their own European curtain-raiser, beating Ferencvaros 5-1 despite seeing Gerard Pique sent off. The Blaugrana would take special delight in handing Los Blancos a third straight competitive defeat, having played a big hand the last time Real endured such a poor run in March 2019.
A win for the Camp Nou hosts would take them above their nemeses on goal difference; Real currently sit third, while the Catalans lurk three points behind in ninth having played one game fewer.
What TV Channel is Barcelona-Real Madrid on?
Real Madrid’s first trip to Barcelona this season will be aired via beIN Sports at 9:45 a.m. ET on Saturday. You can live stream La Liga matches on fuboTV.
While Barcelona have a more recent win on their record, it’s worth remembering Ronald Koeman’s side are without victory in two league matches and lost 1-0 at another Madrid outfit, Getafe, last time out.
Koeman played on the winning side of El Clasico six times in 14 games as a Barcelona player (five losses, three draws), famously scoring a brace during his 1989 debut in this fixture (a 3-1 home win).
The Dutchman’s blueprint appears to be taking effect at his old club, and there’s rare motivation to get the early upper hand over Zidane in a head-to-head we might witness for years to come.
Frenkie de Jong is the incumbent Dutch dynamo at the base of Barca’s midfield, and the 23-year-old recently highlighted the importance of improving upon last term’s trophy-less campaign:
Lionel Messi bagged the opening goal against Ferencvaros and will face Los Blancos for the 44th time in his career on Saturday. However, the Argentinian has failed to score or assist in his last two league outings and hasn’t made a direct goal contribution against Real since May 2018.
How to Watch Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
When: Saturday, October 24
Where: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Time: 9:45 a.m. ET
TV: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
Sergio Ramos was sorely missed during the midweek defeat to Shakhtar after he suffered a knee injury in the previous loss to Cadiz, but Real’s captain is expected to return on Saturday whether he’s fully fit or not.
Eden Hazard, Martin Odegaard and Dani Carvajal are still injured for the visitors while Alvaro Odriozola remains a doubt at right-back. Either Nacho or Ferland Mendy could fill in on that side of defence, though the latter might return to his favored left side at the expense of Marcelo.
Neto will continue in goal for Barca in place of the injured Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with Samuel Umtiti still absent and Jordi Alba lacking fitness at left-back. Junior Firpo has recovered to contend for a place on the left, but Koeman may keep faith in summer signing Sergino Dest in that role.