Real Madrid CF (2nd, 53pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 55pts)
Competition/Round: 2019-20 La Liga, Matchday 26
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Luis Suárez, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembélé (out)
Real Madrid Outs & Doubts: Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio, Nacho, Rodrygo, James Rodríguez, Luka Jovic (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, March 1st, 2020, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), Not Available (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
Following a solid 1-1 draw against Napoli in the Champions League in midweek, Barcelona return to action for the biggest La Liga match of 2020: El Clásico takes place at the Santiago Bernabéu between leaders and two-time defending champions Barça and second place Real Madrid.
Barça are two points ahead at the top of the table thanks to Madrid picking up just one point from their last two matches, and with Los Blancos coming off just one win in their last five in all competitions and a painful loss to Manchester City in Europe it’s safe to say Barça are in better form and maybe even favorites coming into this one.
A victory for Barça would open up a five-point gap at the top of the standings with 12 games to go and history shows us that’s almost impossible to overcome in La Liga, especially with Barça holding the head-to-head and goal difference advantage if they win. Not only that, the Blaugrana would win a sixth consecutive match at the Bernabéu, an unprecedented run of dominance at the Spanish capital that would truly change the name of Madrid’s stadium to the Santiago BARÇAbéu.
Madrid are virtually out of the Champions League and are eliminated from the Copa del Rey, so losing El Clásico will pretty much end their season. That means they’ll give everything they have to win this one, and Barça must manage the game well and know they won’t be able to play pretty football for 90 minutes. This is about intensity and wanting more than them, and Quique Setién is facing his biggest test yet.
This promises to be one of the great Clásicos of recent memory. Will Barça extend the streak? Will Madrid find a way to save their season? This is going to be so good.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Vidal, Messi, Griezmann
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Vinicius
I hate being confident ahead of a Clásico, but I think we’ll be too good at the end: 3-2 Barça in a Clásico for the ages.