|Fans of Spanish football are being spoiled this week as on Saturday 2nd March we have the second El Clasico in four days between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
In terms of La Liga this must go down as a must-win game for Real Madrid as they are already 9 points behind their opponents in the race for the title. Barcelona know a win would move them well clear of their bitter rivals and consolidate their position at the top of the league.
Real Madrid come into this game having suffered the humiliation of losing 3-0 to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night. Having drawn the first leg 1-1 at the Camp Nou, Real Madrid were in a strong position to win the tie but having wasted their own chances, conceded 3 goals without reply.
That result means Real Madrid have lost two of their last three games having suffered defeat at home to Girona prior to picking up a late 2-1 win at Levante. The two defeats have undone the recent good work by Real Madrid and they are going to find winning a trophy difficult this season.
However, trend show Real Madrid have won eight of their last ten games in all competitions and have scored 2 or more goals in those eight wins. That being said, they remain inconsistent at home in La Liga and have lost two of their last four matches.
Barcelona will be thrilled to have won 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night and will be looking forward to returning to the Spanish capital on the weekend.
The Catalan giants are on an unbeaten run of nine games in all competitions, winning five and drawing four. Trends show Barcelona are unbeaten in each of their last thirteen La Liga matches and have a good record against Real Madrid, winning their last three games at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Despite keeping a clean sheet on Wednesday night, both teams have scored in twenty of the last twenty-two meetings in all competitions and it would not be a surprise to see the same happen on Saturday.
Team news and Real Madrid are without Nacho as the defender is serving a suspension. Isco is back in training and could come into contention and Gareth Bale will be hoping to start having been on the bench in mid-week.
Barcelona are without Rafinha who will remain side-lined for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Thomas Vermaelen is unlikely to be considered and Barcelona could start with the same team as Wednesday.
This is a match which rarely lets us down in terms of entertainment and goals. Real Madrid failed to get on the scoresheet in the Copa del Rey but had their chances and will surely find the back of the net in this one.
However, Barcelona have shown they have what it takes to silence the Santiago Bernabeu and could so again on Saturday with both teams scoring.