The biggest game in the sport takes place this Sunday, with Madrid under immense pressure to save their season while Barça hope to extend a historic winning streak at the Bernabéu to virtually end the title race this season.
There are very few football matches that mean more than El Clásico. The world truly does stop to watch each time the storied clash rolls around, because they know they are in for the amazing. But an underwhelming start to the season saw a tepid matchup between these two squads in December, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw where both sides knew they didn't need to win, and played like it.
But things have changed in the last three months, and there should be little expectation of another boring, goalless draw. Real Madrid have just one win in their last five, lost the top spot in the La Liga table and suffered a defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League at home that might be too much to overcome. They're also out of the Copa del Rey, so a loss in El Clásico might just end Madrid's season in the first day of March.
For Barça, who have won four in a row in the league and picked up an important result against Napoli in the Champions League, this is a chance to go five points clear with 12 games to go, a gap that's almost impossible to be closed in La Liga. Another motivation for the two-time defending champions is the chance to win a sixth consecutive Clásico at the Bernabéu, an unprecedented winning streak at the Spanish capital. However, there has already been some doubt as to whether new manager Quique Setién is the right man for the job. Today will be the biggest test of his career.
Every El Clásico is must-watch, nearly always delivers, and undoubtedly always means something greater than the implications on the La Liga title race. This time, the circumstances are ripe for Real Madrid-Barcelona to be the crescendo of the season.
El Clásico Preview
Date: Sunday, March 1st, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM ET
TV Channel: beIN SPORTS
El Clásico Live Stream: fuboTV (try 7 days free)
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius
Predicted Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Firpo; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Griezmann, Vidal
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona