It will not be the first time, and it will not be the last, that this clash of the Spanish titans could decide the destination of the Primera Liga crown. After both clubs secured their places in the last eight of the Champions League in very different styles, the focus is now back on the domestic campaign. With just one point separating the clubs, a win for either side could give them the vital edge in the title race as we approach the final run of games.
Barcelona will enter the game as favourites after Real Madrid only managed a single win during a four game spell in March but as Lionel Messi noted: “When Madrid are in this situation… they are most dangerous.”
Madrid’s only win in March came at home against relegation threatened Levante but despite their slump, they remain just one point behind their league-topping rivals. A win at the Camp Nou could really put their season back on track as they look to contest for a league and Champions League double.
Luis Enrique’s team are still in contention for three pieces of silverware, and the former club captain seems to have finally answered any early-season critics who may have doubted his credentials as leader of the Catalan giants. A dominant mid-week display against Manchester City could have been more comfortable if it had not been for some off-target finishing and an inspired performance by City keeper Joe Hart.
With 17 wins in 18 games, Barca will be hoping to move a step closer to regaining the league title in front of a full house on Sunday night.
The triumvirate of Messi, Neymar and Suarez will no doubt be a cause for concern for Carlo Ancelotti as he looks to find a way of not only winning the game but potentially saving his job. There have already been rumblings of discontent amongst the notoriously fickle Madrid hierarchy and the equally demanding fans, despite the fact that the Italian delivered a 10th Champions League title less than 12 months ago.
A loss for the team in white could leave them just four points ahead of in-form Valencia who are enjoying an amazing run of form. Los Che have leap-frogged Atletico Madrid and are making a committed charge for an automatic Champions League qualification spot under young progressive Coach Nuno.
With Messi nearly back to his devastating best and Cristiano Ronaldo looking out of sorts, you have to fancy the home side for this game. A defeat could have many implications for Los Blancos and the pressure may prove just too much for their current fragile mentality.
Back a Barcelona win and Messi to score anytime. Check Betfair for odds.