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Real Madrid enter into their season defining phase now. The El Clasico against bitter rivals, FC Barcelona sandwiched between two Champions League fixtures against Bayern Munich will decide whether there will be celebrations at Cibeles this year or not. Will we see pictures of Florentino Perez along with the Champions League trophy and the League trophy in the newspapers in May?

Real Madrid almost earned a draw at the Allianz Arena till Mario Gomez struck in the 90th min to give Bayern the three points. They would have been disappointed by letting a point slip through their hands and going to the Bernabeu with a slightly tough task at hand. However the return leg at Bernabeu isn’t as important as the El Clasico before it. Yes, Real Madrid travel to Barcelona to face the current champions at the Nou Camp. With their ten point lead brought down to four points now, the result of this match could very well tip the scales in favour of Barcelona. Real Madrid will then only have a one point cushion for the remaining fixtures. Real Madrid’s performance in this game might affect the performance in the return leg of the Champions League and will then have to play every match as a final because a slip up would mean that they might lose out on both the titles.

                     Madrid Would Be Disappointed To Concede The Late Goal In Munich

FC Barcelona have not lost to Real Madrid in the league at the Camp Nou since their 0-1 loss which came in December 2007. Real Madrid have an uphill task to atleast earn a point which would give them some breathing space. A positive result (read: draw/win) is necessary for Jose Mourinho in order to boost his team’s confidence ahead of their return leg against Bayern Munich. Since Dortmund are eight points clear at the top with three games left, Bayern will be able to rest some key players for their next match before facing Real at the Bernabeu. The same luxury cannot be afforded by Real Madrid as they prepare to face the lion in its own den. If Jose Mourinho manages to upset Barcelona at the Nou Camp, he’ll be commanding the headlines of lots of newspapers for a long time and he’ll finally be able to answer his critics. A win at the Camp Nou will make Real go into the return leg with full confidence because they just have to obtain a “normal” result against Bayern Munich and not win by some outrageous scoreline.

Barcelona will also be in a similar condition following their 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the first leg at the Bridge and would looking for a positive result (read: win) against their bitter rivals to boost their morale. This makes the task even tougher for Mourinho and Co. as they’d be looking to win the La Liga by beating Barcelona. However, a loss or a draw wouldn’t go down well with some hard-lined supporters as they’d have expected Madrid to win La Liga by beating Barcelona and not merely crossing the finish line all bruised and battered.

                Barcelona Are At A Similar Footing After A Poor Result Against Chelsea

Real played well in the return leg of the Copa del Rey and the Madridistas would be looking for a spirited and offensive performance from their team. It is time for Cristiano Ronaldo to outshine Lionel Messi in these encounters as a lot of burden will be shouldered by him. Barcelona, on the other hand, will also be looking to continue their dominance over their rivals and they have the luxury of doing so at home. A dismal performance in the Clasico will also dampen their confidence ahead of the return leg against Chelsea.

These are testing time for Madrid as they look forward to win the Champions League and also maintain their lead in La Liga. A positive result at the Camp Nou would almost certainly end Barcelona’s hold on the League and it would probe a shot in the arm for them before they face the Bavarians at home. Sometimes dire times would result in dire consequences, “somebody”  may have to take the heat.

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