Real Madrid can take a leap toward securing this season’s La Liga title when they host Barcelona in the second of this season’s El Clasico meetings today at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos lead second-placed Barca by three points with a game in hand heading into the showdown, where victory for the hosts could see the crown’s destination decided considering only a few games remain in the season.
After exiting the UEFA Champions League in midweek following a 0-0 stalemate at home to Juventus—completing a 3-0 aggregate defeat in the quarter-final clash—Barca will be motivated to resurrect their league chances.
Meanwhile, manager Zinedine Zidane’s side can advance their prospects of a double this season, having progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League following their 6-3 aggregate hammering of Bayern Munich in the last eight.
No matter the circumstances, an El Clasico collision never fails to entertain, and you can find all the necessary viewing information, complete with a match preview.
Unfortunately for Barcelona’s chances of stealing a win in the Spanish capital this Sunday, Brazil maestro Neymar doesn’t look as though he’ll be available to feature for the visitors.
Spanish daily Marca reported on Thursday that an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was his only hope of having his suspension overturned.
The league campaign is of particular importance for Neymar and Co. following Wednesday’s Champions League exit, where the forward was left distraught in the face of defeat. The Blaugrana are a much more threatening beast with Neymar in their lineup, and the Brazilian has at times outshone the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez this season.
It’s just Barca’s luck that while they’ll likely be without their wing wizard, Real’s Gareth Bale made his return to training on Thursday and could be rushed back from his calf injury in time for todsy’s blockbuster.
In Real’s last home league clash against Barca, they were thumped 4-0 in November 2015. Barcelona have scored four times in each of their last two league trips to the Bernabeu, but without Neymar, and manager Luis Enrique entering his last derby before leaving the Blaugrana, the guests will struggle to uphold that pattern.