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Primera División

  • October 7, 2012
  • • 18:50
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
  • • Attendance: 95000

Barcelona - Real Madrid Preview: Los Merengues visit Camp Nou with title hopes in the balance

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



Alves, Song, Mascherano, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Sanchez


Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
From comment and analysis to post-match fallout, 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.

  • 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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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
25Alex SongMidfielder
20Sergi RobertoMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
9Alexis SánchezStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
4Sergio RamosDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
7Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
33Raúl Albiol Defender
-Michael EssienMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
9Gonzalo HiguaínStriker
Players to Watch
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
3 2 0 0
The Argentine was an ever-present threat in the Champions League on Tuesday, setting up goals for Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas in the 2-0 win at Benfica. Barcelona will need Messi to keep the action firmly in the Real Madrid half and prevent an understrength rearguard from coming under close scrutiny at the hands of the visitors.
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
2 2 0 0
Madrid's powerhouse striker comes into this clash on the back of two consecutive hat-tricks against Deportivo La Coruna and Ajax respectively. The scourge of Barcelona in April when he scored the winning goal in this fixture last season, Ronaldo will again look to take command of this fixture.
Barcelona's first home Clasico since last month's Catalan independence rally promises an evening of raw emotion. Tito Vilanova will hope the cauldron of support at Camp Nou can drive his team over the line, while Madrid will hope for a repeat of their scintillating performance in the Supercopa win at the Bernabeu, where Barca's defence was horribly exposed by a flurry of lightning quick attacks.
Editor's Prediction

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