But failing to beat their Catalan rivals this season having held a 10 point lead over them just a few weeks ago would represent a failure of cataclysmic proportions.
Three draws in Madrid's last five league games, coupled with a run of 10 straight wins for Barca, means Jose Mourinho's men come into the Madrid derby with a lead of a solitary point over the current champions.
188Bet price a victory for Real this evening at 12/25 (1.48), while Atletico, who need a win to keep alive their hopes of European football - not to mention local pride, are on offer at 49/10 (5.90).
Despite the intense nature of the capital derby, the records suggest that Real will relish a trip to the south of the city to face Atletico, a team who have not beaten them in 13 years.
Los Blancos have been ahead at half-time and full time in three of their last five meetings with Atleti and the price of 13/10 (2.30) for that to happen again could appeal.
But the most attractive bet looks like being for two to three goals scored available at 17/20 (1.85).
This bet has paid out in seven of the last nine games between these two sides at the Vicente Calderon stadium, and is on offer at a decent price.
For some higher odds, try backing a 3-0 win for Madrid at 9/1 (10.00), with Los Blancos having scored three goals against Atleti on three occasions in the last three seasons.
|2-3 goals at 17/20 (1.85) with 188Bet
||Real Madrid win 3-0 9/1 (10.00) 188Bet|
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Phil Kitromilides is a professional broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid, you can also follow Phil on Twitter.