Barca boss Gerardo Martino has a fully-fit squad as he takes charge of his first El Clasico at the Bernabeu. Neymar and Cesc Fabregas, who both sat out last weekend's 7-0 win over Osasuna, are expected to return. Real, who finished second behind Barca last season after winning the title in 2012, have not lost in their last 31 games in all competitions.
Former Real Madrid player and coach Jorge Valdano believes Barcelona’s reign of dominance in La Liga is coming to an end while los Blancos are improving. The Blaugrana have won the Spanish top flight four times in the last five seasons but currently sit four points behind their fierce rivals with ten games to go, including this Sunday’s Clasico. "This game puts Madrid as the favourite for the first time in a long time," the 58-year-old said. "Madrid is rising and it feels as if Barcelona is coming to the end of this cycle."
There are few games to compare with FC Barcelona against Real Madrid and Sunday brings the 168th league meeting between the two sides. The venue will be the Santiago Bernabéu, and with the home team four points clears of FCB, and Atlético Madrid also in contention for the title, this latest edition of the clásico promises to be one of the most gripping ever.
On Sunday, Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo will find themselves on the same pitch when the two teams meet in this season's second El Clasico. Perhaps it is time to revise that perception and consider the possibility that Ronaldo is just as good as - or even better than - his eternal Argentine rival.
Man Utd face anxious wait as Marco Reus issues Barcelona ultimatum | Football | Sport | Daily Express
United are keen on bringing Reus to Old Trafford in the summer but reports in Spain suggest that the winger would prefer a move to Spain. FIFA agent Francois Gallardo told Spanish TV channel La Sexta: "This is a player who has given an ultimatum to Barcelona. He expects a quick response or he will decide on another destination."
Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed reports that Sergio Aguero could leave Manchester City for Barcelona in the summer. Despite an injury-hit season restricting him to just 17 Premier League starts, Aguero has still struck 15 goals, fuelling rumours of a move to the Catalan outfit. "You cannot talk every week about players that are coming here and the players going out. Aguero is a Manchester City player, he is very happy here and the club is very happy with him."
The Barça v Betis league fixture will kick off at 6.00 PM CET on Sunday April 5, the same day as referendum on the proposed restructure of the stadium and other facilities. In addition to the time and date of the game at home to Betis, the Spanish Football Federation has also announced that the Granada v Barça game the following week will kick off at 8.00 PM CET on Saturday April 9, just three days after the second leg of the Champions League quarter final with Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon believes Gareth Bale is playing under the hindrance of his £85m world-record transfer. "Apart from the 11 [on his shirt], he has got 100m Euros and that weighs a lot from the point of view of the followers," Calderon said. Calderon says being more expensive than Ronaldo has led to Bale facing inevitable comparisons with the player who remains in many fans eyes their star player.
Betis - Atletico Madrid Preview: Simeone's side eager to steal a march ahead of Clasico - Yahoo Sports Singapore
Atletico Madrid know a win at lowly Real Betis could prove key in the Liga title race with Real Madrid and Barcelona clashing on Sunday. And with at least one of their title rivals guaranteed to drop points this weekend, victory over rock-bottom Betis would further increase belief that Atletico can upset the odds and claim a first Liga crown since 1996.
Ignacio Camacho scored twice to secure a valuable 2-0 win for relegation-threatened Malaga at Celta Vigo. Bernd Schuster's men are among a host of teams tightly bunched together near the foot of La Liga, but now sit six points clear of the bottom three following a second successive away win.