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Five things to look out for as Barcelona face Real Madrid in El Clasico

Real Madrid To Snub Guard of Honour Tradition

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Tradition dictates that Real Madrid should offer a pasillo to Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Sunday after they clinched La Liga last weekend.

Except Zinedine Zidane has already said they won’t. Sergio Ramos was also asked and said the boss has made his decision and it’s final and that’s probably that.

From the Barca side Jordi Alba has said his team would do it if the tables were reversed, while Ernesto Valverde has tried to play the whole thing down and said he’s really not that bothered.

The whole thing seems to stem from Real Madrid wanting, and not getting, a pasillo from Barca back in December after they had won the Club World Cup. Barcelona weren’t interested because they didn’t compete in the tournament.

The pasillo is meant as a sign of respect although it can be pretty humiliating, as Valverde pointed out, but Real Madrid’s refusal does come across as a pretty petty move.

Can Barcelona Maintain Their Unbeaten Streak?

Deportivo La Coruna v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona are just four games away from going through the entire La Liga season unbeaten although Sunday might just be their toughest test.

Real Madrid have put up a fairly poor defence of their title but you can bet they would love to end Barca’s unbeaten run.

After Sunday Barcelona face Villarreal, Levante and Real Sociedad, and they may never have a better chance than right now to secure an Invincible campaign.

Is There Any Chance Valverde Will Rotate?

Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

We all know that Valverde has barely rotated this season but with the league won with four games left to play he has time to hand some minutes to some of his fringe players.

The only thing is there’s still that unbeaten streak to think about and well it’s Real Madrid.

Logic dictates that he will pick his strongest team and that will probably include Andres Iniesta who is set for his last El Clasico (more on that later).

Messi Chasing More Awards

Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Lionel Messi was on target the last time the two sides met and hit a hat-trick against Deportivo last time out to take his tally to 32 for the season in La Liga.

That puts him eight goals ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Pichichi and also in top spot in the race for the European Golden Boot, one clear of Mohamed Salah.

Messi’s already made it pretty clear he’s not really interested in personal awards, but if anyone deserves them after this season it’s him.

Iniesta’s Final Clasico

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Iniesta’s farewells are coming thick and fast now. First we had the tearful substitution at the end of the Copa del Rey final, then the emotional press conference when he announced he’s leaving and now the final Clasico.

Amid all the talk about a pasillo it’s even been suggested that both teams should get together to honour Iniesta as he faces Real Madrid for a final time in Barcelona colours.

Even Valverde got in on the act saying “Andres would deserve for the whole stadium to make him a guard of honour.”

He’s not wrong.

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