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Real Madrid vs Barcelona, La Liga: Team News, Match Preview

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One of the biggest Clásicos in recent memory will go a long way in deciding who’s the main challenger for the La Liga title

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FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Real Madrid CF (3rd, 63pts) vs FC Barcelona (2nd, 65pts)


Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 30

Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Neto (out)

Real Madrid Outs & Doubts: Sergio Ramos, Raphaël Varane, Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard (out)

Date/Time: Saturday, April 10, 2021, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm GMT/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Sunday)

Venue: Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, Madrid, Spain

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano

VAR: César Soto Grado

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others

How to stream: FuboTV (USA), Premier Player (UK), Facebook Live (India), Movistar+ (Spain), others


Following a hard-fought win over Valladolid on Monday, Barcelona return to action in La Liga for the biggest game of the season so far: a gigantic El Clásico against Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano near the Spanish capital.

This could not be a bigger, more consquential game for both sides: the La Liga title is up for grabs thanks to a huge decline by leaders Atlético Madrid, with just three points separating the three top teams in the league. Barça are in second and will go top of the table at least for a night if they win this one, while Real will go level on points with the leaders and surpass Barça with a victory.

These two teams didn’t seem to have a chance at the title this season but Diego Simeone’s side have opened the door for a true challenger to emerge, and it’s impossible not to see Saturday’s winner becoming the main contender to win the whole thing eight weeks from now.

Barça and Madrid are in great form: the home team is on a 12-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including a dominant victory over Liverpool in the Champions League. Barça are without a loss in 19 straight games in La Liga, winning a ridiculous 13 or their last 14 games in the league.

A loss is not the end of the world for Barça, who would only be a point behind Real and still have a chance to play Atlético at Camp Nou next month, but the psychological blow of a defeat to their biggest rivals could prove a lot more costly than just dropping all three points. A win is the dream scenario, but even a well-played draw will keep Barça above Los Blancos and put them in a good position to continue challenging the Colchoneros.

This is a Clásico with really high stakes and both teams are playing well enough over the last couple of months to promise a really entertaining match, even without a crowd in a small stadium.

It’s El Clásico. It’s one of the biggest in a long time.

Let’s dance.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (3-4-3): Ter Stegen; Araujo, De Jong, Lenglet; Dest, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Dembélé, Griezmann

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Vázquez, Militão, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius


PREDICTION

I’m never, ever, EVER, confident ahead of a Clásico. All I am is nervous and all I do is go for a safe prediction: 1-1 draw, which really isn’t bad at all for Barça.