Barcelona - Real Madrid Preview: Los Merengues visit Camp Nou with title hopes in the balance
Jose Mourinho's side will be desperate to hand a first Liga defeat to their great rivals as they brace for a highly-charged Clasico meeting in the Catalan capital
By Karthick Arvinth
Alves, Song, Mascherano, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
|STEVE MCMANAMAN ON EL CLASICO
|From comment and analysis to post-match fallout, Goal.com has got all angles covered|
Barcelona will assess Gerard Pique's fitness ahead of Sunday's Primera Division showdown with Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
The Spain defender has not played for two weeks because of a foot injury but managed to train in the gym on Friday.
Carles Puyol (elbow) and Thiago Alcantara (knee) are ruled out, meaning converted midfielders Alex Song and Javier Mascherano are likely to resume their partnership in central defence.
Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria are set to return to the starting line-up for Real Madrid, who have no injury concerns.
The biggest selection dilemma for boss Jose Mourinho is likely to be over the playmaker role, with Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric, Kaka and Michael Essien all vying for a starting berth.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Barcelona are facing Real Madrid for the 222nd time in all competitions. The Catalans have 87 wins to Real's 88.
- The Blaugrana have won their last six matches across all competitions since losing 2-1 to Madrid in the Supercopa.
- Should Barca win on Sunday, it will represent their best ever start to a Liga campaign.
- Alexis Sanchez (pictured right) is in line to make his 50th appearance for the Catalan outfit.
- Real Madrid have lost three of their last five away matches in all competitions.
- The Castilian giants have won just one of their last eight Liga encounters with Barcelona (W1, D1, L6).
- Jose Mourinho's record against Barcelona with Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid is W6, D7, L10. The 10 defeats against Barca are the most against any club in Mourinho's managerial career.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 12 goals across all competitions this season, two more than Barca talisman Lionel Messi.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid CF
- 16.49 %
FC Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 15.54 %
FC Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid CF
- 12.55 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||27/10/2013||FC Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||03/03/2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||27/02/2013||FC Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid CF 3|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||31/01/2013||Real Madrid CF 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||08/10/2012||FC Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|02/12/2013||Athletic de Bilbao 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|27/11/2013||Ajax 2 - FC Barcelona 1||UCL|
|24/11/2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|11/11/2013||Betis 1 - FC Barcelona 4||LIGA|
|07/11/2013||FC Barcelona 3 - Milan 1||UCL|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
Times In EST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed